Most of us have been on the receiving end of interview questions, but when it comes to selecting a financial advisor, it’s time to flip the script. The relationship between advisor and client is highly personal and hopefully one that lasts a lifetime, so it is important you choose an advisor that fits your personality and offers the services you’ll need as your life and financial situation evolve.
When you interview prospective advisors, it can be challenging to know what to ask. Here are 6 questions to help you pick the right advisor for you.
Why did you decide to become a financial advisor?
Follow up questions can be “what drives you now?” or “what is your professional mission statement? Knowing what drives your potential advisor can help you decide if this is a person you want to give you advice and align with their values.
What type of investments do you use to create diversified portfolios? Why?
Following up with “are you a fiduciary?” will help put into perspective the advisor’s investment decisions. Fiduciaries must legally keep the clients’ best interests above their own.
What other services do you provide besides financial advice?
The value of a financial advisor is not only in investment management. As you interview, you will want to consider advisors that can look at your complete financial picture (from estate planning to long-term care needs). If financial planning is important to you, then look for professionals who hold their CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.
How are you compensated?
Is their compensation based on commissions, assets under management, or an hourly rate? Follow up with the heart of the matter – “how much would it cost me to be a client, and how do I pay the fees?” Don’t shy away from this question. You want to know if the value of working with a financial advisor will be worth the monetary cost.
Do you complete everything in house, or do you have a network of professionals?
In any profession, it is quite difficult to be and do everything, so having a network of experienced professionals such as attorneys, CPAs, insurance agents, etc., can be an important tool for any advisor. Ask them about their network and how they choose their strategic partners.
How often will we meet, and who will be my primary contact?
Advisors should have scheduled time to meet with their clients, but make sure their schedule and flexibility fit your needs. Will you have access to the advisor you’re interviewing, or do they employ a team approach? There is no perfect answer here but understanding the expectation that complements your situation from the beginning of the relationship is important.
If you are looking for a financial advisor, please feel free to reach out to a Bridgeworth Advisor. We look forward to being asked the questions above!
Andrew D’Amico recently passed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ exam and is a Planning Coordinator with Bridgeworth Wealth Management in their Huntsville office.