Questions you Should be Asking your Financial Advisor
Finding an appropriate financial advisor is no easy task. At the end of the day you have to trust a total stranger to help you handle all your finances or hand over your money to them. It is very important to first ask the financial advisor a few personal questions to see what kind of person they really are. Hopefully these steps will help you find the right financial advisor.
Ask your financial advisor if he is a fiduciary. A fiduciary is someone who has to place the clients need before their own. Fiduciaries would also have to discuss what their fees are, how they will be compensated and they would also need to reveal what other conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that may influence peoples decision to use their services. A non-fiduciary financial advisor might receive commission if they sell you an investment that will not benefit you and they will not tell you this.
Never be afraid to ask about payments. If the cost is not on the website, you should ask the financial advisor whether there is a planning fee, ask questions about whether they charge a percentage for assets under management or whether they make money by selling a product. You should not only know how much the service would cost you but it is also important to note whether they are given incentives to sell you things.
Ask the advisor what services do they or their firm provide. Also ask what services they do not offer. Some are just investment advisors and are qualified enough to only give you advice in investments. While others offer financial planning around retirement, insurance and tax planning. Always choose a financial advisor that suits your needs.
Ask if you could see a sample of their financial plan. There is no specific structure a financial advisor needs to use when drawing up a financial plan, which means different styles can be a little bit confusing. Some advisors may give you loads of pages of stuff you do not understand such as graphs and charts. While another advisor may give you a few pages of your financial situation. If you see a sample you could ask the advisor to explain things you do not understand.
Do not forget to ask the advisor how much contact he plans on having with you. Some advisors hold a planning meeting and then you only see them once a year. Others might offer you more check-ins. Some clients are okay with meeting once a year and others are looking for more support. Whatever your needs are make sure you explain it to the advisor.