Making informed decisions is crucial for your financial well-being. Whether you are planning for retirement, saving for a significant purchase, or simply looking to grow your wealth, a trusted financial advisor can make a substantial difference.

With so many options in Tulsa, how do you choose the right financial advisor?

The Role of Financial Advisors

Here’s how a financial advisor can add value:

Expertise: Financial advisors should be trained professionals with in-depth knowledge of financial markets, investments, tax strategies, and retirement planning. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your financial goals.

Objectivity: A financial advisor can offer an objective perspective of your financial situation. They can help you make rational decisions, especially during turbulent times in the market.

Time-Saving: Managing your finances can be time-consuming. A financial advisor can assume the research, analysis, and paperwork burden.

Long-Term Planning: Financial advisors can assist in creating a comprehensive financial plan that spans many years or even decades.

As you search for a financial advisor in Tulsa, here are some factors you should consider.

Your Financial Goals: Knowing what you want to achieve will help you find an advisor specializing in your needs. Here are some common financial goals:

Retirement Planning: Are you planning to retire early, or do you want to ensure a comfortable retirement at a more typical age?

Wealth Accumulation: Do you have a plan for investing your savings and growing them over time?

Debt Management: Do you need assistance in managing and reducing your debts?

Estate Planning: Are you concerned about efficiently passing on your assets to your heirs and minimizing estate taxes?

Tax Optimization: Are you looking for strategies to minimize your tax liability?

Once you’ve identified your financial goals, you can seek a financial advisor specializing in those areas.


Financial advisors have different qualifications. It’s important to understand what they mean.

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®): CFP® professionals are professionals who have completed rigorous training and passed a comprehensive exam. They provide comprehensive financial planning services, including retirement planning, estate planning, investment management, and tax planning. Most CFP®s are also registered investment advisors.

Registered Investment Advisor (RIA): RIAs are fiduciaries who provide investment advice and portfolio management. They are legally bound to act in your best interests. RIAs may also hold the CFP® or CFA® designation or both.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA): CPAs are experts in taxation and accounting. They can provide tax planning, estate planning, and financial advice. A relatively small number of CPAs are also RIAs.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): CFAs are investment professionals who specialize in portfolio management and investment analysis. Most CFAs are also RIAs.

The type of financial advisor you need depends on your requirements. A CFP® may be your best choice for comprehensive financial planning.

You can also verify the credentials of financial advisors by going to the CFP® Board or the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) databases.

Experience and Expertise

While certifications are important, experience is also crucial. Look for an advisor with a track record of successfully helping clients achieve their financial goals. Here are some questions to ask:

How many years of experience do you have in the industry?

Have you worked with clients who have similar financial goals to mine?

Can you provide references or client testimonials?

Consider the advisor’s expertise in specific areas, like retirement planning, estate planning, or investment management. Their expertise should align with your financial objectives.

Understand Fees

Advisors have different fee structures. Here are the most common ones:

Fee-Only: Fee-only advisors charge fees for their services and do not earn commissions from selling financial products.

Fee-Based: Fee-based advisors charge fees for their services but may also earn commissions from selling certain financial products. Be sure to clarify which products they earn commissions on and how this may influence their recommendations.

Commission-Based: Commission-based advisors earn their income through commissions on financial products they sell, like insurance policies or mutual funds.

Assets Under Management (AUM): Most RIAs charge a percentage of the assets they manage on your behalf. Inquire about the specific percentage of assets being managed at different levels. Advisors who charge on an AUM basis are considered “fee-only.”

Investment Philosophy

It’s important to understand the advisor’s investment philosophy. Here are some questions to ask:

What is your investment philosophy?

How do you build and manage investment portfolios?

Do you have a diversified approach to risk management?

Is your investment philosophy “active” (where you try to “beat the market” by stock picking and market timing) or “passive” (where you replicate market returns using a rules-based approach)?

Do you focus on asset allocation, global diversification, and keeping costs and fees low?

Be wary of advisors who promise unrealistic returns or engage in high-risk strategies.


Effective communication is essential when working with a financial advisor. You should feel comfortable discussing your financial goals, concerns, and questions.

Here are some questions:

How frequently will you meet or communicate with me?

Can I communicate with you by phone, e-mail, and videoconference and expect a reasonably prompt response?

Do you have a team to support you in case you are unavailable?

Disciplinary History

Determine whether the financial advisor has any disciplinary history. You can search their name on regulatory websites like the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) database or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck.

Written Agreement

Once you’ve selected a financial advisor who meets your criteria, formalize your working relationship with a written agreement. The agreement should set forth the following:

  • Services provided by the advisor
  • Fee structure and payment schedule
  • Responsibilities and expectations of both parties
  • Duration of the engagement
  • Termination clauses

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to seek clarification from the advisor.

Monitor and Review

Financial planning is an ongoing process. After choosing a financial advisor and working together, schedule periodic reviews with your advisor to assess your financial goals and adjust strategies as needed.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right financial advisor in Tulsa is a significant decision that can impact your financial well-being. Take the time to find an advisor who has the necessary expertise and understands your unique financial situation.

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