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<April 2015>



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Five Tips For How To Choose A Financial Advisor

 By: Jeffrey J. Buonforte
It has been estimated that over 40% of Americans may not be prepared for retirement [1], which is mainly due to the current challenging state of our economy. While some individuals are saving less for retirement others are dipping into their nest eggs to make ends meet.  Talking with a financial advisor can help you make the best financial decisions for your family and your future.

Here are five tips to help get you started on finding the financial advisor that is right for you.
1) An advisor should be willing to meet with you at your convenience at their office, your home, or your workplace.
2) Advisors should be independent and objective with no specific bias to selling certain funds or programs.
3) This will become a long-term relationship. Make sure your financial advisor listens to your concerns and needs, and understands your short term and long-term financial goals.
Be prepared to provide them with your last quarter investment statement, two years of 1040 federal tax returns and a personal financial statement if you have one. If you do not have a current financial statement they should be willing and able to create this for you.
4) No two individuals are alike and you should never settle for an off-the-self solution. Your advisor should utilize an independent research company to evaluate possible investments against benchmarks, prior to recommendations. They should also run diagnostic models to determine the best investment tools to protect allocated assets during changing market conditions. This evaluation and a due diligence process will allow advisors to coordinate the asset allocation policy that best suits your needs and will help to inspire confidence in their customized plan and ensure consistency in your investment objectives.
5) Ongoing communication is critical and your advisor should contact you quarterly to review your plan.
Once you select a financial advisor, keep them abreast of any major changes in circumstances.
Your financial advisor is going to play a very important role in your life. Make sure you share a mutual trust and they have your best interest at heart.

*Securities are offered through Essex National Securities, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC. Insurance products are offered through Essex National Insurance Agency, Inc. Neither are affiliated with Lakeland Bank.

Products are not guaranteed by the bank, not FDIC insured, not a deposit, not insured by any federal government agency, and we may lose value including loss of principal.

[1]Star Ledger, March 10, 2010, Page 1, “Nest Eggs Crack Under Pressure of Daily Living,”

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