As seen in
Denver Five Star award winner

Top 5 Things to Look for in a Financial Advisor

Top 5 Things to Look for in a Financial Advisor by Samuel R. Tenney

Why do you need financial advice?
• You need another set of eyes to give you a new perspective, or someone
who can spend more time reviewing your finances.
• The 1-800 or computer-generated advice you’ve been receiving is not
personal enough. Perhaps you want a different kind of experience, with
personalized, real advice from a live person.
• You want to slow down or start traveling the world, but you’re not sure
how to get started.
• You would like to turn your 401(k) into a paycheck, but don’t know how.
• You are seeking peace of mind that your affairs are in order if the
unexpected were to happen to you or your loved ones.

Finding the right financial advisory firm
When thinking about hiring a financial advisor, the most important
questions to ask yourself are:
1. Who is competent, qualified, and willing to be on my side?
2. Who is really trying to help me rather than trying to satisfy their own

Being able to discern truth and the real intentions of individuals,
organizations, and businesses are essential to your success and a lasting
peace of mind. You have worked hard to build your future; you need
someone you can trust to help you manage it. Your financial advisor must
be your partner and advocate in making your future dreams a reality.

The following are the five most important things to look for when selecting
a financial planner/advisor:

Seek a financial advisor that has a team approach. It is impossible for
one advisor to be all things without the help of other experts. A good
advisory firm includes specialists, back-office support staff, and compliance
personnel. They will also align themselves with strong business partners
(custodian(s), technology, human relations, etc.).

TIP: Look for a financial advisor that has a culture that employees enjoy. You are investing in a
relationship—find out the tenure of the staff and whether there is a great deal of turnover. You
don’t want to start over with a new relationship every couple of years.

BEWARE: Of an advisor that won’t call you back or lacks communication. That makes it difficult to build trust in your relationship with them.


Hire an advisor that is a Fiduciary. This means that your advisor, by law,
must work in your best interest.
• A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a company that is registered
with the SEC or the State, that act as a fiduciary and provides financial
advice for a fee.
• Many in the industry are licensed “sales” persons, not fiduciary advisors.
For example, in the United States there are over 600,000 individuals
licensed to sell you a financial product (a security) for a commission.
This is often in their best interest, not yours.

TIP: Choose an advisor that is investing in you, not in their own agenda.

BEWARE: If you don’t know how your advisor is paid or they say, “It doesn’t cost you anything”: don’t walk away, RUN!

Seek a Financial Advisor committed to being fully competent. This means
hiring a team that includes:
• Certified Financial Planner Professional(CFP®)
• Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
• Master of Business Administration (MBA)
• Accredited Investment Fiduciaries (AIF)

TIP: What all those ABC’s really mean is that the firm has professionals that strive to know their craft well and that they are looking out for YOUR best interests.

BEWARE: Of new advisors to the financial planning or investment business that do not have finance specific education and are not partnered with a team of professionals that do.

Seek a firm that is transparent, that clearly discloses fees, explains things in
plain English, and communicates their conflicts of interest. Finding an RIA
(Registered Investment Advisor) means you will know how your advisor is
being compensated—no secrets and always discloses conflicts of interest.

Below are 3 ways an RIA can be compensated:
 -Assets under management fee: This means that your advisor will charge
you a fee based on how much you have invested in an account that they

 -Financial Planning Fee: This fee can vary from $500 to $10,000+
depending on complexity and the advisor (the planning fee could also
come in the form of a retainer fee each year).

- Hourly Fee: An advisor can charge by the hour, similar to CPA’s and
Attorney’s. These rates vary depending on the advisor ($150 per hour
to $500 per hour or more).

TIP: Find an advisor that is transparent, fully discloses their compensation, and has a reasonable
fee structure.
BEWARE: Of salespersons that work on commission or a fee based advisor that charges more
than 1.5% per year.

Seek a firm committed to keeping up with current events (economic, tax,
and estate), ever changing technologies, cyber security, and new ways to
stay connected. Protecting your assets includes safeguarding your personal
and financial information; look for an advisory firm that has a strong culture
of protecting your data.

TIP: Look for a firm that is growing, seeking to improve, and comes across as professional.

BEWARE: Of advisors that are sending you confidential information in an unsecure way, or
requesting information to be sent to them in an unsecure way.

Follow your gut. If something doesn’t feel right or sound right, it probably
isn’t. If your advisor or the firm you are considering meets the points listed
above, you’re headed in the right direction.

There are many qualified and honest financial planners out there. While
we hope you will consider Fidelis Wealth Advisors in your journey toward
financial health, we are committed to helping you choose an advisor that
will do the very best for you. These steps should give you a good start to
finding an advisor that will put you first.

This award was issued on 10/1/22 by Five Star Professional (FSP) for the time period 01/17/2022 through 07/15/2022. Fee paid for use of marketing materials. Self-completed questionnaire was used for rating. This rating is not related to the quality of the investment advice and based solely on the disclosed criteria. 2132 Denver-area wealth managers were considered for the award; 235 (11% of candidates) were named 2022 Five Star Wealth Managers. The following prior year statistics use this format: YEAR: # Considered, # Winners, % of candidates, Issued Date, Research Period. 2021: 2158, 206, 10%, 10/1/21, 1/4/21 - 7/30/21; 2020: 2172, 213, 10%, 10/1/20, 1/20/20 - 8/14/20; 2019: 2146, 262, 12%, 10/1/19, 1/21/19 - 8/23/19; 2018: 2255, 267, 12%, 10/1/18, 1/18/18 - 8/21/18; 2017: 1716, 287, 17%, 10/1/17, 1/18/17 - 8/9/17; 2016: 1552, 515, 33%, 9/1/16, 2/23/16 - 8/26/16; 2015: 3008, 517, 17%, 10/1/15, 2/19/15 - 8/17/15; 2014: 4385, 528, 12%, 10/1/14, 2/19/13 - 8/17/13; 2013: 2083, 607, 29%, 10/1/13, 2/19/12 - 8/17/12; 2012: 1965, 611, 31%, 10/1/12, 2/19/11 - 8/17/11.
Click to access BrokerCheck

Fidelis Wealth Advisors, LLC dba Fidelis Wealth Advisors is a registered investment advisor in the State of Colorado and certain other states.

*Winners appearing on this page do not pay a fee to be considered or to win the Five Star Award. Professionals with a digital profile have paid a promotional fee.
Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. The award is based on 10 objective criteria. Eligibility criteria-required: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser (RIA) or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively licensed as a RIA or as a principal of a registered investment adviser firm for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (As defined by FSP, the wealth manager has not; A. Been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; B. Had more than a total of three settled or pending complaints filed against them and/or a total of five settled, pending, dismissed or denied complaints with any regulatory authority or FSP's consumer complaint process. Unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through FSP's consumer complaint process; feedback may not be representative of any one client's experience; C. Individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint; D. Filed for personal bankruptcy within the past 11 years; E. Been terminated from a financial services firm within the past 11 years; F. Been convicted of a felony); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients. Evaluation criteria-considered: 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. FSP does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. The award is not indicative of the wealth manager's future performance . Wealth Managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their clients' assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by FSP or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by FSP in the future. Visit