5 Important Questions a Financial Planner Says You Should Always Ask When Hiring an Advisor


Hiring a financial planner is stressful, but finding the right one for you can seem downright impossible. Well, you are not alone. Over the past decade, I’ve had clients walk through my door with the same concerns and fears. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you know the right questions to ask, you could save yourself a lot of heartache down the road. As a planner, I enjoy helping my clients walk calmly and confidently on the road to retirement. The first meeting is always to get to know them and what their goals are for the future. But even with that, many people struggle to put pen to paper. The following questions are things I use with my clients to help the process along and allow them to make the right choices for themselves.

1. Are you a real fiduciary?

I can’t say there’s one question that’s your golden ticket to finding the perfect financial planner, but in my opinion, this one is at the top of the list. Being a true fiduciary means that they ALWAYS act in the best financial interest of their client. Not 90% of the time or when practical, but still. A fiduciary never receives hidden fees and does not sell commission products. They strictly manage the money where they can have open options with investments.

I’m a fiduciary and I don’t advise hiring someone who makes commissions, but it really depends on the client and how they want to pay their advisor. For what it’s worth, the average fiduciary earns about 1% on the assets they manage.

2. How can I determine my retirement financial goals?

When new clients plan their first visit, I start with a very detailed financial plan questionnaire. The quiz guides a person or couple through questions they may not have thought about in their current place in life. It is designed to be a starting point. Be sure to ask if there is a questionnaire or survey you can complete to help you determine your goals.

Be careful if the counselor offers suggestions while you still have questions about your goals. Once the quiz is completed, I can go ahead and help fill in the gaps with additional questions they may not know they need to focus on or know the answer to.

3. What certifications should a reputable financial planner have?

So, this is going to sound a bit technical, but it’s important that you understand what certifications mean and why they are important in finding a qualified planner. You want to make sure your advisor is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). A CFP means that you have taken the time – 2 years – to study and pass the most difficult designation in the field of wealth management. It also helps in establishing detailed financial plans while maintaining a fiduciary mindset.

Beyond that, Series 7, 65 and 63 take 2 years to achieve and illustrate that you have a thorough and structured investment portfolio to build and manage. It also allows financial planners to manage client assets more quickly. We are able to invest for every client, regardless of dollar amount.

Another certification that I recommend is that of Portfolio Investment Advisor. It also takes 2 years to complete and indicates that you have an in-depth knowledge of growing and managing investment portfolios.

4. Is it important to live in the same state as your advisor?

I can answer yes and no. It depends on the client and what is important to them. We have customers in almost every state and some around the world. They stay with us when they move thanks to our service and the way we help them.

What if you have homes in two states? Just make sure your advisor knows each state’s tax laws. If you’re the type of person who likes to sit one-on-one with your advisor, find one in your area or, as most of us have learned to do, use a call service. video.

5. What are the red flags when interviewing a potential advisor?

For many people, that can be said with just about any service provider: if they’re pushy, move on. As I mentioned, I would avoid someone trying to sell you something where they get a commission, regardless of how well the customer performs.

Also, stick to the old rule If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.. Also, see if they have many disclosures. As a licensed advisor, my security licenses are common knowledge. Everything from business suits to personal financial issues and criminal records is there. You can search for advisors on BrokerCheck or advisorinfo.sec.gov.

Choosing someone to help you manage your money until retirement is a daunting task. These questions will help you start narrowing down your domain.

Recommendations are always a good place to start, but remember to find someone you feel comfortable with, who answers your questions, and who you can trust.

I really want my clients to know that I have their best interests at heart and want them to enjoy their retirement years.

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This material has been prepared by TravelAwaits and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party or its affiliates. This information comes from sources believed to be accurate. Please note that investing involves risk and past performance does not guarantee future results. The publisher is not engaged in the provision of legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is required, the reader is advised to seek the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied upon for the purpose of avoiding a federal tax penalty. It is neither a solicitation nor a recommendation to buy or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and do not represent any particular investment. Investment advice offered by GDS Wealth Management, a registered investment adviser.


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