With an international background ranging from Dubai to Fort Myers, Mike Hainsworth is a seasoned and reliable financial advisor with over two decades of experience. Mr. Hainsworth acknowledges that dealing with your finances can be complicated, whether you are trying to set up an IRA, optimize your workplace retirement plan or save for the down payment on your first home. Sometimes you need a little bit of help with those complicated matters, and that is where a good financial advisor can make a world of difference.

A good financial advisor can help with every aspect of your life, from finding the right insurance coverage to maximizing your investment returns to minimizing your tax bill. But not all financial advisors are created equal, and it is vital to shop around for the right one. Here are seven essential steps for finding, interviewing and hiring the right financial professional.

1- Determine your need. Depending on your age, requirements, and stage of life, you may or may not need a financial advisor. Before you start looking for one, make sure you really need the help. Sometimes the DIY approach is the best one.

2- Shop around. Many people hire the first financial advisor they meet, and that can be a big mistake. Even if you feel comfortable with the first financial professional you talk to, do yourself a favour and meet with as many others as you can.

3- Decide which specialty you need. A financial advisor is a blanket term, one that covers a large number of categories. From senior advisors to college financing specialists, financial professionals run the gamut in terms of expertise and experience. Think about the type of help you need, then choose your financial advisor accordingly.

4- Look for an advisor whose strategy comports with your own. Financial advisors are human beings, with their own plans and outlooks on money and investing. If you want to make the most of their advice, look for a financial advisor whose strategy is close to your own.

5- Whittle down your choices. Now that you have interviewed several financial advisors and thought about the specialties and approaches you want, it is time to start whittling down your list. Armed with this smaller list, you can continue the search for the perfect financial advisor.

6- Check references. Failing to check references is one of the biggest mistakes people make when shopping for a financial advisor. While most advisors are honest and capable, others are out for a quick buck, and all too willing to take advantage of their clients’ trust. Checking references, and checking for past disciplinary actions, is the best way to sort out the good from the bad.

7- Understand how your financial advisor is paid. Financial advisors are professionals, and they deserve to make a good living. But the way those financial advisors are paid can have a profound influence on their actions and activities. A commission-based or fee-based advisor derives all or part of their income from the investments they sell, while fee-only advisors are paid by their clients, Before you turn over your finances to anyone, make sure you know how they are paid.

In many cases, you will be able to handle your finances on your own, determining the mix of investments in your 401(k) plan at work, setting up college funds for the kids and building wealth for the future. Even so, there are times when the DIY approach simply will not do, and when that happens, an excellent financial advisor can help you find the right strategy.

Hiring a financial advisor can be difficult, but having a plan in place will make it a lot easier. The seven preparatory steps listed above can help you find a great financial professional so you can focus on growing your wealth and building a better and brighter future.

About Mike Hainsworth:

Mike Hainsworth of Fort Myers is a financial consultant focused on preserving wealth for his clients through the application of proven strategies to avoid losses and minimize taxes.

With an international background ranging from Dubai to Fort Myers, Mike Hainsworth has been serving his clients since 1995. After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Murray State University and a Masters in Business Administration and Management at the University of Alabama, Mr. Hainsworth worked as a defence contractor and field advisor for the PATRIOT missile system in Germany, Riyadh, and Jeddah.