Check out the advisor's team. Look at the firm's website to see who is part of the organization and to gauge their level of experience. At a minimum, a firm should have at least one chartered financial analyst with 10 or more years of experience who is running research. It should have a basic infrastructure that includes a comptroller or chief financial officer, a chief operations officer and a chief technology officer. Without these professionals on its team, it will not be able to deliver true value.
Ask them if they ever turn away clients. If he or she says yes, that's a very good sign. Great advisors will not want to engage with clients who are not open to their advice and who refuse to trust them. I've seen bad things happen to people who get greedy or don't accept prudent financial advice, and I know the relationship will not be successful. I learned over time to say no to them.
—By Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group.