The modern financial advisor gets a bad rap these days. It’s probably partly due to the repercussions of the financial crisis of a few years ago but in general anyway, it seems every client has an unfortunate story in which someone managed to steal their money in front of them in broad daylight.

The media hasn’t helped much either helping to perpetuate and promote bizarre and irregular bad news that sticks in the mind of clients everywhere. Although it’s understandable the level of cynicism out there given past bad advice, debit card fees and bailouts, the average honest finance advisor working hard for their client’s money wish it wasn’t so. There are a few things ideally they wished clients were aware of before they even in the front door and before they start working with you:

Every advisor is different

Different financial advisors specialize in different areas, like doctors also, so don’t go to any advisor for an issue without finding out what their expertise is in first. Some financial advisors are good at planning client’s retirement plans, while some others are more suitable for your investments for ensuring your portfolio gets maximum gains. For any retirement plans you’re advised to seek the counsel of a finance planner while to position your business for tax gains you seek a tax attorney instead.

We charge you differently for different reasons

Some financial advisors are paid a standard flat fee for working with you, while others who may be investing your money can negotiate to be also paid a yearly percentage of your assets. Commission based pay is another popular way for advisers recommending finance products to you. Each payment model may be different from the next but the point is that each model can determine the adviser’s motivation for making you money. It saves you a lot of time and energy to be aware of this dynamic before you begin working with a financial advisor.

Find out how educated your financial advisor is

As in many other careers and jobs there are varying degrees of expertise in a subject. This is no exception. To become a financial advisor doesn’t require a degree, some studying for a test is all it takes to work in the profession of a finance advisor.

On the other end of the spectrum you have advisors who go through rigorous studying, having to pass their certified financial planner or chartered financial analyst programs. This can sometimes take years to complete. Always ask an advisor their education level and expertise before hiring them.

They have different levels of legal obligations to you.

Finance advisors all have a fiduciary responsibility to clients, meaning as part of the trust they are supposed to cultivate in their clients, they should always be putting their client’s needs before their own. The decisions and actions taken should always be in the client’s best interest.

They don’t make obscene amounts of money

Finance advisors can only service a finite number of clients at any one given time. Even if they charge commission-based or a small amount against the assets under management, that still does not amount to a huge sum of money. Most advisers are reputed to not earn any more than $80,000 a year, in fact usually less.