Interviewing a Potential Financial Planner

When it comes to selecting the person who will work with you to establish your financial future, you don’t want to leave anything to chance; you don’t want to have any nagging, lingering questions that you’re afraid to ask. What you want is a comfortable but transparent relationship from Day 1—and as such, it is prudent to interview your financial planner and ask a few basic questions before agreeing to come on board as his or her client.

What should you ask your potential financial planner about? Whatever is on your mind—but in particular, these topics:

Fee transparency. Some financial planners will get paid more for recommending certain products over others. It is only fair that you know that, and that you have a good understanding of how and why your financial advisor is getting paid.

Experience. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how long your planner has been working in the field, and also to inquire about education level and industry certifications. It is not rude to ask these questions; on the contrary, the advisor will likely be happy to see that you are engaged in the process, and desirous of the very best financial guidance possible.

Communication. How often will the advisor initiate contact with you? Will he or she send you regular market updates and explanations of buy/sell decisions—or will he or she only contact you when you ask a direct question?

Personalization. Related to the above: How personal will your service be? Will you be interacting mostly/entirely with your advisor? Will he or she be personally overseeing your portfolio? Will he or she hold annual review sessions with you?

Clientele. How many new clients will the advisor take on each year? Does your advisor focus on the needs of just 100-200 clients—or is it a much larger number? Do you feel comfortable with the level of individual attention you are likely to receive?

Investment approach. Finally, don’t be afraid to simply ask the advisor about his or her investment approach. What you’re looking for here may not be a specific answer, but rather the willingness to communicate with you openly, honestly, and approachably.

The specific answers you hope to receive may vary; what matters the most is that you feel comfortable talking with your advisor, and that you get all the information you really need to make an informed decision.

We’re happy to answer any of these questions for you, of course; contact the Stonepath Wealth Management team today to learn more!