Women’s guide to finding the right advisor
Six questions to help you identify a trusted professional you’ll feel comfortable working with as you pursue your financial goals
WHAT DO WOMEN WANT when they search for a financial advisor? “Obviously, I want to make money,” one woman told us. But she also wanted someone who would listen carefully and understand her financial priorities. Another woman shared that she sought an advisor who could help her invest according to her values.
“Women are looking for reliable sources of information to help them on their financial journeys, and they’re finding that a go-to, trusted advisor can help make their financial lives easier,” says Jen Auerbach-Rodriguez, head of Strategic Growth Markets at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Yet while most women surveyed for a recent Merrill study, “Women, Money, Confidence: A Lifelong Relationship,” said they’d be comfortable talking to an advisor about their finances, more than half said they haven’t yet worked with one.1
One of the main hurdles may simply be not knowing how to find the right match, says Auerbach-Rodriguez. “It’s such an important relationship, involving trust and expertise. You want someone you’ll feel comfortable sharing personal information and aspirations with,” she adds. Talk to your friends and do a little research online. Once you’ve identified a handful of potential candidates, you can use the following six questions to get to know each of them better. Finding someone who will understand your unique financial needs is important. But don’t forget to also consider: Is this someone I’ll look forward to speaking with regularly about my finances and my progress toward my goals?
These questions are a good start. But you’ll also want to ask potential advisors some very practical questions about their track records and the costs involved. This “Checklist: 7 Questions Every Advisor Should Be Able to Answer” can provide a framework for that extended conversation.
Choose your advisor in a more personalized way
All our advisors are committed to putting your needs and priorities first. Find some who match your personal preferences too.