Hiring a financial advisor helps you secure your future and grow your finances. When evaluating a financial advisor, it’s critical to consider their history, credentials, philosophy and customer reviews. That’s why our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best financial advisors in Bakersfield to help you find the right fiduciary.
Bakersfield residents at every stage of life hire financial advisors, and a major life transition like marriage, divorce, home ownership or a career change is often a catalyst for seeking asset management.
For people starting out in their careers, the advice of a money advisor helps you develop healthy spending and saving habits that keep you on a stable financial plan. Financial advisors also help older people ensure they’re prepared for retirement and able to pay for their children’s education.
A financial planner can help you with asset management, saving for your children’s college funds or planning for retirement. If you are planning major financial decisions or trying to start investing, financial advisors in Bakersfield help you feel confident that you’re doing the right thing.
While there is no set minimum needed to work with a financial planner, the cost of full-time financial advisory services might outweigh the benefits for people with fewer assets. Some firms will not work with accounts under a certain threshold, frequently $100,000. However, people that don’t meet this requirement can still get help from other financial advisors in Bakersfield.
Types of financial advisors
There are many different types of financial advisors in Bakersfield, but there are two main distinctions that separate all of them. The first distinction is between human advisors and computer software known as robo-advisors.
Provides financial advice based on algorithms
Provide financial advice based on education and experience
Investment advice not tailored to individual situations
Custom financial planning
Minimal human intervention in asset management
Some software and digital input
Typically invests in exchange-traded funds
Can advise on investments in a wide range of areas
Lower investment thresholds
Higher investment thresholds
The second distinction is between fiduciary advisors and non-fiduciaries. A fiduciary financial planner is legally and ethically bound to act in the best interest of the client. Fiduciary financial advisors in Bakersfield meet strict professional guidelines and ensure investments benefit the client as much as possible.
Non-fiduciary financial advisors are not obligated to put clients’ best interests before their own. Non-fiduciary advisors usually meet the suitability standard, which provides some guidelines but allows the advisor to profit from other sources as long as the investment or trade also benefits the client. Because of this, conflicts of interest are common with non-fiduciary advisors.
What is the cost of a financial advisor in Bakersfield?
Financial advisors in Bakersfield charge in several different ways depending on the type of asset management service you need.
For example, if you hire a financial planner just to help you develop a comprehensive financial plan, they would likely charge you a flat fee between $1,000 - $3,000 or an hourly rate around $200, depending on the complexity of your finances. However, you can also hire a financial planner on a retainer, which means you pay a flat amount monthly or yearly for ongoing financial advisory services.
If you contract with an investment advisor in Bakersfield to make trades and buy securities for you, they generally charge 1 - 2 percent of your assets under management and deduct the amount monthly or quarterly from your account.
Lastly, some financial advisors work on commission and get paid when they sell you financial products like pre-packaged mutual funds.
Fee-only financial advisors get paid directly by clients through percentage, hourly, retainer or flat fees and do not collect commissions. The term fee-based refers to financial advisors who collect commissions or trading fees in addition to the fees they get directly from clients.
Financial advisor billing can sometimes be confusing, so ask for an explanation of any fee you don’t recognize. Understand your payment terms and make sure you’re not paying for anything you don’t want.
What qualifications should a financial advisor have?
Look for a fiduciary in Bakersfield with certification from a professional organization that sets standards and provides training for financial advisors. These include Certified Financial Planners, Personal Financial Specialists and Chartered Financial Analysts.
Before you commit to an advisor, ask them:
Are you a fiduciary?
What type of training and qualifications do you have?
How do you make money?
What are all the fees that you might charge and why?
How often will I be billed?
Do you have experience with situations similar to mine?
How do you research investments?
How much money do you manage?
To avoid hiring a financial planner that might be trying to scam you, check to make sure the individual or their firm holds a valid license. Verify that any financial products they want to sell you actually exist. Avoid investing with anyone who makes exaggerated claims about returns. Be wary of anyone who claims returns over 10 percent. If it sounds unrealistic, it probably is.
Finally, read reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau or California Department of Business Oversight for complaints. People selling investment advice in California must register with the government. Verify the status of a financial advisor in Bakersfield with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Based in Maryland, Facet Wealth partners with CFPs throughout the U.S. and offers free consultations to Bakersfield residents that sign up online. The firm adheres to the fiduciary standard and uses a flat fee-only pricing model. Facet specializes in working with accounts under $1 million.
Rozell Wealth Management
Founded by a CFP, Rozell Wealth Management is a local Bakersfield firm providing a full range of financial planning services, including retirement and investment planning. Reviewers received responsive service and feel confident that their money is well invested.
Howard Financial & Wealth Management
Howard Financial & Wealth Management is a Bakersfield Registered Investment Advisor. The firm offers fee-based services for investment, insurance and retirement planning. One reviewer was ecstatic with advice that saved her and her husband a significant amount of money.
Barnes Wealth Management Group
Bakersfield customers can visit Barnes Wealth Management Group in the West Park area. This company offers fee-based asset management, investing, savings plans and portfolio reviews. The owner, Steve Barnes, is a CFP, Chartered Financial Consultant and Accredited Estate Planner. One reviewer praised the company’s personal assessment and attention to their unique financial situation.