Financial planning. Who can you trust?

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Trust can be a tricky thing.  It is at the cornerstone of most relationships whether they be personal or professional.  Trust can make or break a relationship.  It can come easily, or be difficult, have you sleeping well or cause sleepless nights. 

On a professional level we all need to be able to trust people we choose to do business with.  Do I trust my chiropractor’s ability to give me a safe adjustment?  Do I trust my doctor or naturopath is recommending the right health plan?  Do I trust the mechanic’s repair suggestions?  Do I trust my builder is doing quality work?  Do I trust my lawyer has me covered?  Do I trust my financial planner is giving me good advice?  The list goes on.

We have many different business relationships where trust is required.  But how do you choose someone you can trust, who is a good match for you?  I’ve decided in my experience it’s best for me to go with my gut feeling.  It’s very unscientific I realize, but it’s what I’ve come to rely on.  And letting fear stand in my way is not an option; with good reason.

What happens if we feel uneasy and we don’t trust?  Then what?  Some people will look for someone they feel they can develop a relationship and come to trust.  Others, to their own detriment, do nothing.

What I’ve found interesting over the past few years in the financial business is the number of people who do not have an advisor, know they need one, but hadn’t taken steps to choose one.  Why?  Fear. They feel uneasy about where to turn.  It goes something like this; “We know we should have done something sooner but we didn’t know where to go or who to trust.” 

The financial business can be confusing and overwhelming, and it’s easy to freeze and do nothing.   As time ticks on it’s easy to lose sight of the potential damage to one’s future financial situation through loss of time and missed opportunities.  Missed years of savings, missed growth and compounding, missed tax planning opportunities, not to mention the benefits that come along with the long term value of advice.  Many years may go by before they realize how far behind they are.  The worst decision is sometimes indecision.

If this sounds like you, and trust is your biggest stumbling block, it’s time to get past your fears and move on, for your own benefit.  Yes, there are always going to be people you can’t trust, but there are also many people you can.  The same goes for any walk of life.

Look for a few financial planners who you are interested in meeting.  Friends and family can be a great resource.  Ask who they deal with and if they are happy.  Do some research on-line.  Find out about their experience and certifications.  Schedule a face to face meeting with each advisor to get a feeling for who they are.  Ask about questions important to you, and get a feel for how you think that financial planner can help you, how they do business, how they are paid, and whether they could be a good fit for you. 

Proactively seek out someone you feel you can ultimately trust.   Finding the ideal advisor can go a long way towards helping you reach your financial goals. Trust can be hard to put your finger on right away.  In the end, when you make your decision, I suspect you will go with your gut too. The key is to start looking.  Find someone who can help you make informed, confident decisions about your financial future.  Take steps to find someone who you feel comfortable with before you let too much time pass you by.

 

Phtoto credit:  Shutterstock

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Stephanie Farrow, B.A., CFP., Stephanie has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry, a diploma in Financial Planning from the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning and a Certified Financial pLanner designation.  Stephanie has been writing a financial planning column for the local business magazine Elgin This Month since 2010.  Stephanie and her husband Ken Farrow own Farrow Financial Services Inc.  About our Farrow Financial Team.

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