How to Get Started in Finding the Right Financial Adviser for You

Paul FennerPersonal Finance

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Searching for a financial adviser who is the right match for you takes a lot of work.  While automated or “robo” advisers have increased in popularity in recent years, they aren’t set up to handle every aspect of your financial life.  Try asking one of them if you should buy or sell a house and the impact that it may have on both your short-term and long-term financial and lifestyle plans?

Financial relationships dive into some of the most private and complicated affairs that someone will likely have during their lifetime.  A trusted adviser is someone who will help you build that bridge from where you are today, to where you want to be in the future.  Although finding the right adviser for you can take a lot of work, it is one of the most important financial management decisions you’ll ever make.


Ask People Close to You

Over the course of the past 5 years, TAMMA has grown based upon the endorsements and recommendations of our existing clients.  Clients simply discuss their experience in working with TAMMA during everyday conversations with family, friends, and co-workers that have led to new client introductions.  Begin your search with those closest to you, they may already know someone that you should know.

Br Prepared

In addition to asking family, friends, and co-workers, you can look for advisers in your area at or Once you do find potential advisers, do the following:

  • Prepare a standardized list of questions for them that center around the following: Capability, Process, Fee Structure, Discretion, and Interaction.
  • Email the advisers on your list and ask them to send back a signed copy of their answers.
  • Google an adviser’s name and that of his or her firm looking for lawsuits and customer disputes.
  • Enter the adviser’s name on BrokerCheck, a website run by investment regulators; which could highlight issues.
Common Threads

At TAMMA, we communicate the following common threads that we believe help to create and build strong relationships:

  • Capability, we are a registered investment adviser (RIA) in the State of MI and hold the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Charted Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations.  These credentials should give you confidence that you are working with a professional.
  • Process, most mutual funds tend to underperform the markets while charging a fee on top of any fee that your adviser charges.  We personalize an investment strategy utilizing stocks and bonds to match your risk/reward profile without paying excess fees.  In addition, because of our independent structure, we are able to manage all of a client’s investable assets including 401(k), 403(b), SEP’s, IRAs, etc.
  • Fees, most advisers charge a percent of the assets they manage.  Fees can range from 1% to 2% depending upon the size of your portfolio.  Typically, advisers charge more to manage a smaller asset base than a large base. At TAMMA we charge 1% regardless of your asset base.
  • Discretion, we clearly define the client’s investment strategies and provide them with peace of mind that their assets are being managed based upon their risk/reward profile and agreed upon wealth management goals. Giving TAMMA discretion means we make daily investment decisions and perform transactions on the client’s behalf so you don’t have too.
  • Interaction, at a minimum we meet with clients for an annual face-to-face review in addition to quarterly communications.  Clients should feel empowered to contact us any time that they have a question regarding their account or investment plan.

The most important aspect of having an adviser is maintaining an open and trusting relationship.  You should feel that your adviser listens to you, has your best interests in mind, and empowers you to make better financial decisions.

It takes time, focus, and knowledge to manage investment assets.  If you don’t feel comfortable handling this important responsibility on your own, then you should seek out an expert adviser.