Finding A Financial Advisor - How To Check References - PaladinRegistry

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How to CheckFinancial Advisor ReferencesA publication of PaladinRegistry.com1

IntroductionA high percentage of financial advisors use references to increase their credibility and support theirclaims of superior results. You are supposed to believe that references accurately represent theadvisors’ services and results.Most references are worthless. No advisor will give you a bad reference References may have personal relationships(friends, family, reciprocals) with the advisors A high percentage of references have beencoached to make strong, positive commentsabout advisorsRead the following tips if you intend to checkreferences and their input will influence yourselection decisions. These tips will help you avoidmistakes that can have catastrophic financial consequences.Types Of AdvisorsThe type of advisor who is most likely to use references is an advisor who relies on his sales skills tomake money. That is because references are a sales tactic that is easy to manipulate. The more theadvisor sells references the more likely the references are not reliable sources of objectiveinformation.Types Of ReferencesThe most frequently used references are current clients and other types of professionals (CPAs,attorneys). The references may also be friends, associates, and family members with different lastnames. You should always ask the references the following three questions:1. What is your relationship to the advisor?2. How long have you known the advisor?3. How long has the advisor invested your assets?2

Similar CircumstancesRequire the advisor to provide references that are similar to you: Age, careers, work status, families,assets, risk tolerance, financial goals, etc. Similarities make the referrals’ comments more applicable toyour situation.LongevityYou want to know how long the investors have been clients of the advisor. For credibility purposes therelationship should be five or more years old. Compare the references’ responses to the informationthat is provided by the advisor.3

AssetsYou want to know how much money the advisor invests for thereferences. It may be apples and oranges if you have a milliondollars available for investment and the reference has 50,000invested with the advisor.Risk ToleranceYou want to know the risk tolerance of the advisor’s references. For example, you are a retiredengineer. Ideally, you would be able to talk to other retired investors. A 30 year-old reference whoworks for a tech company may not be a suitable reference.Advice And ServicesSalesmen are paid commissions to sell investmentproducts. They do not receive compensation for providingongoing advice and services. They also have no incentiveto produce competitive performance because they werepaid at the time of the sale.4

CoachingHas the advisor coached references to make strong, positive comments about him/her, his or herservices, and his/her performance? For example, one advisor in Los Angeles coached his references tosay: “He is the best kept secret on Wall Street”.Professional ReferencesA large number of financial advisor references may be other professionals (CPAs, attorneys). Many ofthese professionals act as references for each other. Or, they have personal relationships that includecollege fraternities and country clubs.PerformanceThe performance claims of references are not a substitute for a legitimate track record. Real recordsare in compliance with GIPS (Global Investment Performance Standards) and are audited byindependent third parties.5

Top Questions For ReferencesAsk references and advisors the same questions and compare responses.Paladin DisclaimerThe content in this document is for information purposes only and should not be considered financial,tax, or legal advice. You should always consult with a vetted, high quality professional before makingany financial decisions.About the AuthorJack Waymire is the founder of andInvestor Watchdog. He spent 28 years in the financial servicesindustry and is the author of Who’s Watching Your Money?You can follow Jack on:Twitter: @PaladinRegistryGoogle : JackWaymire/posts6

Require the advisor to provide references that are similar to you: Age, careers, work status, families, assets, risk tolerance, financial goals, etc. Similarities make the referrals' comments more applicable to your situation. Longevity You want to know how long the investors have been clients of the advisor. For credibility purposes the

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