Big Wall Street firms must balance your interests against their shareholders. As such, they might limit the investments their advisors can offer, promote proprietary products, or otherwise influence advisor behavior through compensation plans. These conflicts are one reason you’re more likely to receive objective advice from an independent advisor.
There are other criteria that might be helpful as well. For example, we believe you can tell a great deal about a person by their attention to detail, or how responsive they are to your calls or e-mails. It’s also important to find advisor whose specialty is consistent with your unique needs.