top of page


  • Writer's pictureHilary M.K. Poff | CFA

How to Choose a Professional Financial Advisor

Managing your investments can be difficult and complicated. And not everyone is comfortable investing on their own. That’s where a professional financial advisor can help. The big question is, with so many investment counsellors out there, how do you choose the advisor that’s right for you?

Choose a Professional Financial Advisor

It’s important to know what to look for when choosing a financial advisor, after all, that person can give you advice on everything from investing to wealth management, estate planning, and retirement planning. This personalized service should also include a review and extensive reporting every quarter.

It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of money, are financially savvy, or you’re just getting started. A financial advisor is a great option for anyone who wants to set long-term objectives and get their personal finances on track.

The following questions can help you choose the financial advisor that’s best suited to your unique needs.

Q. What Are Your Financial Needs?

A. If you live in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, it’s important to determine what parts of your financial life you need help with before you speak to a financial advisor.

Are you just getting started out and need guidance creating a long-term investing path, do you need help with a single task, or have you experienced a big transition (retirement, inheritance, divorce) and want to know the best way to improve your financial position. Or maybe you need help with more than one kind of financial plan.

Whatever your needs are, make sure the financial professionals have the education, skills, knowledge, and experience with your specific financial and investing needs.

Q. What Are Their Qualifications?

A. Believe it or not, financial planning is not regulated in most Canadian provinces and territories. Someone can call themselves a financial advisor or financial planner even if they don’t have the right education, training, experience, or qualifications.

To ensure your financial needs are being met, consider a financial advisor that is a charter financial analyst (CFA). The CFA designation is the highest level of achievement and is recognized and respected not just in Canada but around the world.

It reflects their ability to understand and deal with the most complex financial and investment management challenges and make advanced, informed, investment decisions.

Q. How Do They Get Paid?

A. Knowing how a financial advisor gets paid can be crucial to your financial success. Some charge a fee that is based on the percentage of assets under management.

Other financial advisors earn a commission or fees on investments they choose on behalf of their clients. Some wealth managers are also affiliated with financial institutions, securities firms, and mutual fund companies. This can make it difficult to determine if the financial advisor is working solely on your behalf or being motivated by a potential commission or suggesting a third-party financial product.

Fee-only financial advisors earn money on the fees you pay for their services. A fee-only model can help reduce any potential conflicts of interest. Since they’re independent, their investment decisions are unbiased, with a focus on achieving the investment objectives for each client.

Sharp Asset Management for Your Retirement Planning

If you’re in Ontario and are looking for an independent financial advisor to help provide guidance with your financial planning, contact the private wealth management professionals at Sharp Asset Management.

Sharp Asset Management Inc. is an independent portfolio management firm that is 100% owner operated. We are not affiliated with any financial institution, securities firm, or mutual fund company. As a result, our investment decisions are unbiased. We also do not earn any commissions or fees on investments we choose on behalf of our clients. Instead, our efforts are completely focused on achieving the investment objectives for each client.

All of our investment counsellors are charter financial analysts, the highest level of achievement, and have over 10 years of experiencing managing portfolios. This differs from major financial institutions which typically rely on junior analysts.

To learn more about investing with Sharp Asset Management, contact us today.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
bottom of page