When deciding on a financial advisor, you want to make sure you’re choosing one that is a good match for your individual needs – which may include financial planning, investment selection and most importantly, putting your interests first.
You want an advisor who possesses the right knowledge, experience and qualifications necessary. Which is why knowing the right questions to ask will save you time, money and especially, effort. So, we’ve provided information on the most important topics you should be asking your financial advisor about to help you choose the right one.
About their experience and credentials
E.g., “What experience do you have in navigating the complex world of financial planning?”
When meeting with a financial advisor, you’ll likely want to ask questions regarding how long they have been working and how much experience they have. It’s not only about the number of years they’ve worked in the profession, but the experience they have in providing different services. For example, some financial advisors specialize in certain areas like tax planning, retirement savings, investments, etc.).
About the products they offer and the services they provide
E.g., “Can you tell me about what is included in your financial planning services?”
The purpose of this question is to better understand if their services are comprehensive or are focused more in one particular area (i.e., investment management). Some of the most common services are basic financial planning and investment management. However, some individuals have needs that go beyond the basics.
You’ll also want to ask about the firm’s product range and if there are any products that they do not offer.
On how they manage investments
E.g., “What is your investment style?”
Ask your advisor to explain the firm’s investment philosophy in terms you can understand. Investments are just one piece of financial planning, but when choosing a financial advisor, it’s helpful to understand their approach before choosing them to help you manage your finances.
You’ll likely want to ask about investing in diversified stocks and bonds and the types of investments they invest in (i.e., mutual funds, individual securities, etc.). In addition to this, you may even ask for a sample portfolio so you can see an example for yourself!
To be able to make an informed judgement on the type of advice you need, you must have at least a small understanding of financial planning and the basics of investing. Which is why it’s worth doing your own research before deciding to visit an advisor. When asking questions, it’s important that you understand the answers. If not, don’t be shy – ask again! Remember, it’s your money and your future, you have the right to understand.