Are you looking for a financial advisor in St Louis, Missouri? If so then you are in the right place. I am going to share some insight with you about how to save time, money and headaches trying to find the right advisor for your needs.

2018 marks my 25th year in business and with that comes a lot of experience working with and hearing about other financial advisors. Some of my experience is good while some of it – well – is not as good.

The truth is there are many people in the financial services business that I believe are truly trying to help people. They are sincere in their words and actions and think about their clients and put their best foot forward to try to help. However, not all advisors are alike.

Per capita, St Louis has one of the largest concentrations of financial advisors due to companies having their corporate headquarters right here in our backyard. They are on every corner and seemingly in every office complex. Yet, people still seem to find it difficult fulfilling what they need but, it is not from a lack of trying.

Some people are going into brokers’ offices and are leaving feeling unsatisfied with what they are being told. The feedback I get from some people is that they feel their planning is incomplete.

This is a complex problem but I believe the primary reason for this is that too many people believe that all financial advisors are the same, which leads to frustration and unmet expectations.

The reality is that not all financial advisors are the same and if not careful you can wind up being one of those frustrated people I mentioned a moment ago.

Here is one thing to understand, the title of a financial advisor is widely used and can mean different things. These days it seems like anyone who has anything to do with a financial transaction gets away with using the title. I hear insurance salesman, mortgage people and stockbrokers use the term and it perplexes me because what they do is very concentrated and they all do very different things. Maybe I personally over think it but the title doesn’t exactly fit what they do.

So, how do you find a financial advisor that is right for you?

First, identify what services you want from your financial advisor. Do you simply want to buy some life insurance or invest some money in a stock or do you want an actual financial plan put together?

Second, identify what type of relationship you want with your financial advisor. Do you want a one-time transaction or do you want ongoing communication about your situation?

Third, determine if you want to work with a company or a person. Do you want to work with a big company and use whoever the company has sat at the desk or do you prefer to have a relationship with the person of your choosing?

Fourth, determine if you want to be leading or following. Do you want someone to guide you through important financial decisions or do you prefer someone take direction from you and fulfill your requests?

There is more to it than this of course but this can get you headed in the right direction. I often think about other industries where people could more easily relate such as a Jiffy Lube versus an auto dealership. One can change your oil if that is all you need but the other can do anything your vehicle needs.

Perhaps you can relate to the idea of a Walgreens versus a hospital. With Walgreens, you can go in to get something specific you’re looking for while a hospital can run tests, has specialists and can take care of all your needs.

Another comparison is if you were looking for a new Chevy, you would not go to a Ford dealership. That would be frustrating because you’re not going to find what you are looking for. Ideally, you would go to a lot that has all the makes and models so you knew the “advisor” you were working with would have what you are looking for.

I speak with people every day of my life about money, financial decisions and of course the markets, and I can tell you there is a huge misunderstanding about the various types of advisors out there. The bottom line is that you should consider what you want to accomplish and get to work finding the right fit for your needs.

There are many moving parts to your financial picture and some people don’t realize what all is involved. For instance, a basic financial plan should include a cash flow analysis, tax and legal review, investment allocation evaluation, insurance review, debt and mortgage analysis, life plan and goal setting.

You may want all of this done for you while others may only want to look at their investments. This is why knowing what you want from your financial advisor is the first step to finding the right person for the job.

If you are looking for a simple to follow, cookie cutter, one size fits all approach to your money then pick up a book about finance, read it and follow the steps. There are endless personalities offering up their opinion.

If you simply want to purchase a product, then find someone specializing in that type of product. If you want insurance, go to an insurance person. If you want a stock, go to a stockbroker or simply go online. However, be fair warned here that many of these people think what they are doing is the one all be all solution to everything. Just realize that this is not usually the case. They are selling something but if you make the right connection for what you are looking for then you should be ok.

If you are looking for someone to come alongside of you to take a look at everything you have going on, then find an independent and well connected financial professional. These types of advisors can be a comprehensive resource for you and can provide direction in many areas.

I have personally worked with thousands of individuals and business owners helping to satisfy the overarching desire many people have to get their entire financial life in line with their goals. For some, this may be more than they want while for others, it is like a breath of fresh air. Either way, I am here to answer questions and always do my best to point people in the right direction.

Good Luck!

The article and opinions in this publication are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. We suggest that you consult your accountant, tax, or legal advisor with regard to your individual situation. Kalos Capital, Inc. does not provide tax or legal advice. The opinions and views expressed here are for informational purposes only. Please consult with your tax and/or legal advisor for such guidance.