We know that finding a Financial Advisor is a big decision. We also know that sometimes it can be hard to even know what questions you should ask a Financial Advisor when you are interviewing them.
That's why today we are sharing a few questions you should ask a Financial Advisor. These are questions that we answer everyday and often times, we are educating people on the answers to these questions even if they don't ask them. That's because we think these are important questions people should have the answers to when they are looking to build a relationship with a Financial Advisor.
Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor
Question #1: Are you a Fiduciary?
Not all financial professionals are bound to the fiduciary standard which is why this is an important question to ask. Being a fiduciary means that the financial professional is required to act in the best interest of their clients and to put their clients' interest above their own. If you are interested in learning more about this, here is an article from The Motley Fool that gives an in-depth description of fiduciary as well as other standards in the investment world.
Having an advisor that is a fiduciary is important so this is a question that you want to make sure you are asking.
Question #2: How do you get compensated?
Financial Advisors can get compensated in different ways so it is important to ask this question ahead of time. Your Financial Advisor should be willing to explain their fee schedule to you. They should understand that it's not that you don't want to pay them for their expertise, but you want to have an understanding of what you are paying.
Question #3: What is your invstment philosphy?
This is important. You want to know what their investment philopshy is and make sure it aligns with your values. Dave Ramsey always says that your Financial Advisor should have the "heart of a teacher" and we couldn't agree more. You are looking for a professional to help you with your investing because it is not what you do everyday BUT it is still your money and you should still be able to explain how and where your money is invested. This is why your advisor should be teaching you and helping you to understand financial concepts that you are not familiar with.
Question #4: How will we communicate about my investments?
You are saving for your future and you want to make sure you are able to keep an eye on your investements. That is why asking how your advisor plans to communitate with you is a good idea. Do you have annual meetings? Do they have online portals avaialable that you will be able to see your account(s) performance? How will you get in touch with them if you need something or want to make a change? These are all good questions to ask to ensure that you know how you will be able to communicate with them once you are an active client.
Question #5: Do you have minimum account balances?
Some investment firms have minimum account balances, which means you have to have a certain amount of money in order to open accounts with them. This can feel discouraging if you are just getting started saving for your retirement. Our firm doesn't have any minimum account balances because we want to be able to help everyone that wants to be able to save for their future.
Other Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor
If anything else is important to you, you should bring it up to them and ask their stance on it. For example, if you follow Dave Ramsey's principals and are not using debt as a tool, it might be worth while to talk about that with your Advisor. You want to make sure you are building a realationship with someone that understands your values and will help you work to achieve those!
In short, you should feel comfortable with your Financial Advisor and never feel like you are asking a "silly question." They should be willing to teach and educate you!
Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers, LTD is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein.