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|Rich Best has spent 28 years in the financial services industry, as an advisor, a managing partner, directors of training and marketing, and now as a consultant to the industry. Rich has written extensively on a broad range of personal finance topics and is published on several top financial sites. Recent books include The American Family Survival Bible and Annuity Facts Revealed: What You MUST Know Before You Invest.|
The True Value of a Financial Second Opinion
If you are a loved one has ever had a serious medical diagnosis you probably know the feeling – a measure of bewilderment mixed with a creeping skepticism. At a minimum, you just need more clarity. So, you may have joined the millions of other Americans who routinely seek out a second opinion. It may surprise, if not shock you to know that, in a study done by the world famous Mayo Clinic, nearly 90% of patients who sought a second opinion left with a different diagnosis than they came in with.
For most of the patients, the second opinion provided a more refined and complete diagnosis, which led to more appropriate care and the desired outcome. For the 12 percent who had their initial diagnosis confirmed, they were rewarded with much more clarity about their condition and confidence in their doctor to properly treat it. For all of them, it was well worth the time and effort.
Is a Financial Diagnosis Any More Accurate Than a Medical Diagnosis?
Although there is no similar data to support the value of a second opinion for financial advice, it is no stretch to say that the stakes are similarly high. After all, it’s your financial life; and a misdiagnosis or improper treatment could be devastating. While everyone would like to have complete confidence in their financial advisor, there is always going to be an element of doubt. You can gauge your own level of confidence by asking yourself if you fully agree with the following statements.
If you found yourself in just mild disagreement or uncertainty with any of the statements, you could benefit from a second opinion. The good news is that, most advisors offer a free second opinion review. However, it is important to limit your search to the type of advisor you can trust to provide objective and conflict-free advice.
How to Ensure You Receive the Most Value from a Second Opinion
Narrow your search for a second opinion advisor by considering only those advisors who have earned the Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP®) designation. CFP® advisors must meet rigorous educational and ethical standards and they are qualified by their knowledge and experience in financial planning. You can narrow the search even further by considering those CFP®s who are also Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). RIAs are bound by law to serve their clients under a strict fiduciary standard.
Once you find the right financial advisor for your second opinion, here is what you should expect:
The outcome of a financial second opinion can only be a positive one. You will either correct or refine your original diagnosis so you can make the necessary course adjustments; or, your original diagnosis will be confirmed. Either way, you will come away with much more clarity and confidence.
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