9 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor
Embarking on a financial journey is a significant step toward your ideal future, and choosing a financial advisor well-suited to you is a pivotal part of that process. To allow for a harmonious and productive partnership, asking the right questions is key.
From understanding their client base to delving into fee structures, these questions are designed to empower you in making an informed decision about the professional who will guide you on your financial path.
To that end, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top nine questions you should pose to your prospective financial advisor.
1. Do You Hold Any Credentials?
Credentials and education play a critical role in your advisor’s competence. There are hundreds of designations in the financial services field, and some are more applicable to your needs than others. Use a designation-check database to learn more about the credentials financial advisors can earn, and ask the advisors you are researching what they do to continually hone their skills and stay up to date in the industry.
Our team has more than 120 years of experience combined in the financial services industry with the ChFC® and CLU® designations.
2. What Is Your Planning and Investment Philosophy?
It’s important to work with an advisor who shares a planning and investing philosophy similar to your own. Does your advisor stick to a scientific, evidence-based approach? Do they believe in buy-and-hold or do they move to cash when the market looks shaky? Talk with an advisor about how they guide clients’ investing and financial decisions.
At The Rosamond Financial Group, we feel investments can play a key role in your financial plan. For individuals, a mix of registered and non-registered savings, income, and pension plans can help you pursue short-term and long-term goals.
3. How Much Do You Charge?
Financial planning and investment costs can be confusing. And too often financial advisors don’t readily disclose their fees.
We are compensated through an established fee that is specific to the services we provide. With a high priority on honesty and transparency, our fee-based model is in your best interest.
In fact, if our fee structure doesn’t make sense for your current financial resources, we would be happy to refer you to someone we know and trust, or you can keep the basic plan we designed (free of charge) and implement it on your own.
4. Who Do You Serve?
Some financial advisors focus on serving a specific demographic or level of investable assets, so you’ll want to find this out before choosing an advisor. Why is this important? Because you deserve advice and services tailored to your unique needs.
The Rosamond Financial Group works with a diverse range of clients from different ages and from varied backgrounds. But we also provide services and guidance to corporate executives, business owners, and affluent retirees.
With something as important as your finances, you want confidence that the person you are entrusting your money to has the experience, skills, and knowledge that relate to your personal situation.
5. Who Else On Your Team Will Be Working With Me?
At some firms, you may work with multiple financial advisors depending on your appointment time or needs, while other firms may pair you up with one financial advisor with whom you’ll work one-on-one. This is important to know so you can meet the other team members with whom you might be collaborating.
With a concierge-style practice, The Rosamond Financial Group only works with 70 client families. This ensures we provide top-notch service to every client, spending the time to gain in-depth knowledge of their goals and challenges. We always strive to put your dreams at the heart of your financial plan.
6. What Financial Planning Services Do You Offer?
Not all financial advisors can provide comprehensive financial planning. Some cannot sell insurance or securities, such as mutual funds or stocks, if they don’t have the appropriate licenses. Ask a financial advisor what services they provide, whether or not they have a focus, and if they offer a broad spectrum of solutions to meet your needs. When creating a plan together, be sure to ask your advisor why they are recommending particular services and solutions over others.
7. What Sets You Apart From Other Financial Advisors?
We know you have plenty of options to choose from, but there are a few things we do differently, including our 3-meeting mindset:
- In our first meeting, we get to know you as a person and a potential client. We talk very broadly about your goals for the client-advisor relationship and what style of advising you are looking for. Are you more hands-off or someone who wants to be involved in the day-to-day operations of your financial plan? In this meeting, we determine what your general needs are and whether our firm is a good fit to meet those needs.
- If the first meeting goes well, we move to the financial road map phase, which includes a more in-depth conversation about your desires and expectations for the relationship. What are your financial goals and concerns? How do you think about money, and what is most important to you? We help you outline your most important outcomes in alignment with your deepest values.
- After we’ve reviewed your financial documents, we put together a basic wealth management plan. At this point, we offer an honest assessment of our relational fit. If we determine we are a good fit, we outline all the ways we can work together to implement your goals, as well as the associated fees.
8. Do You Offer a Client Portal?
We believe it’s important to see the big picture and all the moving parts of your financial life. When you decide to work with us, you will have access to your personal wealth management website.
9. How Can I Know if Your Firm Is Right for Me?
During our initial meetings, we’ll both get a sense of whether this is a good fit or not. If it’s not, that’s okay! We have an extensive referral base and can help connect you with an advisor who can help you pursue the outcome you desire.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
An advisor should be happy to answer these questions and any others you may have about how they operate. If you don’t know where to start, ask friends and family for referrals to set you down the right path.
Whether you need investment planning, retirement forecasts, insurance evaluation, tax development plans, or education planning, we’re here to help. To get started, book a free introductory meeting online, call my office at 830-798-9400, or email email@example.com. We look forward to speaking with you!
Preston Rosamond is a financial advisor and the founder of The Rosamond Financial Group Wealth Management, LLC with over two decades of industry experience. He provides comprehensive wealth management and financial services to successful business owners, corporate executives, and affluent retirees who enjoy simplicity and seek a professional to help them pursue their goals. Preston personally serves his clients with an individual touch, a sincere heart, and his servant’s attitude is evident from the moment you meet him. Learn more about Preston or start the conversation about your finances with him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a call on his online calendar.