February 13, 2016
How to Find a Great Mechanic


Everyone needs a g reat mechanic.  If your car is no longer under warranty (it's been that way for me for eleven years now), getting it repaired probably means choosing a mechanic.

Technically, just about everyone reading this could fix their car - YouTube videos for repairing just about anything are amazing. But most of us don't have the tools, the time, and the know-how to fix things right while still enjoying the process. 

So where to go to find a great mechanic?  Auto dealerships are always an option. But many service writers are paid on commission, and who really want to take advice from a salesperson? Plus the dealer labor rates seem to be the highest around. 

Instead, I've been using boutique repair shops. I found a great mechanic when my Saab came off warranty. He treated the car like his own, had a passion for the brand, specialized knowledge, and fair prices.

Finding the right financial "mechanic"

The economic condition of the average U.S. family is 'out of warranty' with far too much debt and far too little savings. More people should be looking for their own financial "mechanic." And in many ways, a great financial advisor relationship should be like my relationship with the Saab mechanic. 

If you are tired of your DIY financial experiences, or just tired of dealing with the "auto dealerships" of the world of finance, there is a better way.

The most rapidly growing segment of advisors (in dollar terms) are called Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). And the best, in our view, are those that don't sell anything - they're part of the fee-only movement in the industry.

The primary trade association for the RIA segment is called the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). It's a group of purists, somewhat similar to that great independent mechanic you may be looking for. Below is a link to their advice on how to find an advisor:

You might change your car mechanic if you change the kind of car you drive. But a good financial advisor is likely to stay with you far longer. So be diligent and ask a lot of questions. In the end, your advisor may not become your best friend, but you'll appreciate someone who is both trustworthy and skilled.

The CAVU Team
David Sylvester, CFA, CFP®                                 
Founding Principal    

Nick Foy, CFP® 
Portfolio Manager             

Hilary Disher, CPA (non-active)
Tax Strategist
Plan well.  Invest Wisely.  Live Richly.
CAVU Wealth Advisors LLC