Millennials are self-centered and allergic to commitment. They switch jobs every six months and will never buy homes. And don’t get them started on marriage and kids.

So go the cliches about the generation whose oldest members were born in the early 1980s. But as more and more millennials enter their 40s, they’re proving that they’re not so different from the generations before them: Raising families, buying homes, moving up in their careers and building wealth.

The average millennial net worth has increased 23% each year since 2016, topping $278,000 in 2021, according to research firm Cerulli Associates. While that’s significantly lower than Gen X’s $978,964, millennials saw the highest growth rate of any generation.

As a result of their rising wealth, many millennials are seeking out a financial adviser for the first time.

Finding a trusted adviser can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. Here’s a guide to what kind of planner may be a good fit, how to vet them and what it will cost:

Get started: A good place to start looking is on the websites of planner networks including the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the Financial Planning Association, the Garrett Planning Network and the XY Planning Network. You may be able to search by specialty, whether it’s working with the LGBTQ community, expatriates or first-generation Americans, or by area of expertise, such as taxes, insurance, divorce and stock options.

Know what you want: Be clear on what you want to focus on with a planner. Do you want a few Zoom meetings to discuss repaying student loans, or the tradeoffs between paying down debt and saving for a down payment on a home? Some advisers offer packages on specific financial issues.

For an overall analysis of your finances, a written plan can cost from around $1,000 to a few thousand or more, depending on the level of detail. From there, you can implement any recommended changes on your own or pay for a longer-term engagement with a planner.

“Instead of spending thousands of dollars a year on ongoing financial planning, when you might not be ready for that, doing a one-time check-in in the area you’re most concerned with can be really great,” said Sophia Bera Daigle, 38, founder of Gen Y Planning.

Check adviser backgrounds: A simple LinkedIn search can show an adviser’s work history and their training. Where to do a more formal check depends on whether an adviser works for a brokerage house or is independent. For brokers, the self-regulatory organization FINRA has a search engine that shows experience and disciplinary history; it’s pretty bare bones.

If an adviser is an independent registered investment adviser (RIA), the Security & Exchange Commission’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website is the place to go.

You’ll see two important documents there. “Form ADV” shows the number of clients a firm has, assets under management, the fee structure and more. For an even more in-depth look, check out a firm’s “Part 2 Brochures.”

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