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Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

The Department of Employee Trust Funds is here to assist you with your Wisconsin Retirement System pension, health and other benefits. But how do you find a qualified expert when you need advice on personal finances and retirement financial goals? In short: do your homework before you hire.

These helpful tips, adapted from WISER Fact Sheets: How to Find a Financial Planner and Financial Planner Alert, provide great starter advice:

  1. Understand the various professional designations and decide which type of professional would meet your needs.
  2. Know what you want in a financial advisor – someone with expertise in one area, such as estate planning or investments, or with a broad range of expertise and services?
  3. Ask how the advisor makes money. Straight salary? Fee-only? Commissions? Get an explanation for services and fees in writing.
  4. Ask for the advisor's references – and check them out.

Bonus tip: Take advantage of the free financial advising available to you through ETF's Financial Fitness Program. This exclusive program, available to all WRS members, offers free online financial educational resources for 12 months and a free consultation with a financial advisor for 30 days. Start with a Financial Fitness CHECKUP, a confidential and secure online survey that helps you discover your strengths and weaknesses of your personal financial knowledge and situation. The checkup only takes 10 minutes to complete! Learn more about the program.