Your first step is to determine the criteria you will use to identify and select the best financial advisors or financial planners. They do not have legitimate track records that document the performance of their current clients so that won’t work. Numerous products and services have quality ratings: Mutual funds, hotels, automobiles, and restaurants to name a few. But financial planners and financial advisors do not have quality ratings. So that won’t work.

It is up to you to determine what information is going to impact your selection decision. Then you need a process for obtaining the same information from multiple advisors. It is easier to compare advisors if you obtain the same information. Lastly, you need an algorithm that produces a rating that helps you identify the best financial planners and financial advisors.

At Paladin Advisor Research (www.PaladinRegistry.com) we focus on five criteria that impact the competence and ethics of financial professionals: Experience, certifications, education, fiduciary status, and compliance record. We use this information and 12 other criteria to determine who are the best financial advisors and financial planners.

Self Search

18% of investors, who use the Paladin website to find high quality financial planners and financial advisors in their communities, conduct their own searches. They enter their zip codes to find local financial professionals who have been vetted by Paladin using 17 Principles. No registration is required to use this service. 

5 Star Match Service

82% of investors use Paladin’s 5 Star Match service. Rather than conduct their own searches, they submit data to Paladin staff who complete the search process for investors. The search process is based on their requirements. 97% of the time, Paladin staff finds financial advisors for investors the same day they receive the search request.

Use the Internet 

You can also use key words in an Internet search to find local financial planners and financial advisors. For example, enter “Financial Advisor Chicago, IL” to find advisors in that city. Also, use the Internet to learn more about these professionals. You can view their professional profiles in the Paladin Registry, enter the professionals’ names and their firms’ names in the major search engines, and visit their websites.

Find, Vet, Select

Finding, vetting, and selecting the best financial advisor is a critical decision. How critical? The decision may determine when you retire, how you live during retirement, and your financial security late in life when you need it the most. What is more critical than these financial stages in your life?

You should try to make an objective decision that is based on facts, facts, and more facts. You should fight making a subjective decision that puts excessive emphasis on financial advisor personalities, sales skills, and undocumented sales claims. Believe what you see, not what you hear.