Secret Society of REAL Financial Advisors

Posted in News on 24th April 2013

We had the pleasure of meeting Carl Richards on Monday at one of our Society of Financial Planners events. Carl has a great 11 point checklist for defining a real financial advisor. They fit very well with my philosophy when working with clients. They are also a great tool to help you ask the right questions when choosing an advisor to look after your precious finances…

Declarations of a Real Financial Advisor

#1   We are boring  – take this to mean real financial advisors dont sell the latest sexy investment idea. They are with you for the long term and try to maintain consistency and stability. If you are looking to get rich quick, try someone else!

#2 We are professionals – Real financial advisors always take time to continue their education and improve their professional standards

#3 We are independent – self-explanatory

#4 We get compensated by our clients – No hidden commissions, override etc. Fully transparent compensation

#5 We put our clients interests first – This seems obvious, but is critically important. We put your interests first, even if that means we do ourselves out of a fee and encourage you down a different path (ie pay off debt etc)

#6 We diagnose before we subscribe – A real financial advisor will take the time to listen and consider before making recommendations

#7 We ask really great questions – We try to get inside the important issues and encourage you to think about your future life goals.

#8 We are worthy of trust – Trust is only earned

#9 We make things as simple as possible  – see point 1, the minimum complication and jargon

#10 We know this is your money, your goals and your plan  – No arrogance or egos here….

#11 We focus on things we can control – No point spending lots of time worrying about issues we cannot control.


If you like these declarations let us know…..

Carl Richards is Director of Investor Education at BAM Alliance. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, Blogger and Columnist with the New York Times. Check out his book, The Behaviour Gap, which is a great read for anyone interested in investing and his website


Carl is a US Financial Planner, Blogger and Columnist with the New York Times. Check out his book, The Behaviour Gap, which is well worth a read for anyone wondering what to do with their finances.

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