Smart Questions to Ask Your Potential Financial Advisor
Searching for the perfect financial advisor is tough. There are many factors to consider and so many options. One of the top-ranked concerns when looking for a financial advisor is trust. Nowadays, trust is so hard to earn. It’s not easy trusting finances with someone you don’t know, even if it is their job. Once you narrow down your search, ask the potential advisor(s) the following questions. They could be a deciding factor and reveal true intentions.
- How do you get paid?
Knowing how they make their money is important. There are several ways they get paid including a fixed rate for a service, commission, percentage of assets under management, or for their time. Understanding how they make their money allows you to be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck because some companies charge fees that the representatives get a part of. By knowing this, you’ll be able to do your own research or inquire about lower fees with other products or companies.
- What’s your investment philosophy?
While the right financial advisor should customize proposals, advice, and plans based on your unique situation, knowing how they invest can show you how they think. It’ll also keep you alert for strategies that are too aggressive or conservative.
- What are your credentials and qualifications?
It’s important to speak with a qualified financial professional. There are so many different degrees and credentials that an advisor can have—there’s CFP, RMA, RICP, CRC, and CFA to name a few. If you’re not sure, just ask them to explain the meaning of each! You can also ask how that helps them give financial advice. If you don’t want to ask the advisor this, you can also search them on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s website (brokercheck.FINRA.org) where you’ll find their credentials, work history, and any disciplinary notes
- Are you a fiduciary?
By making sure the advisor or firm you’re working with is a fiduciary, you’ll ensure that they have your best interest in mind because that is required. While it is possible that a non-fiduciary may put your interests above their own, they are not required to do so. Non-fiduciaries are only required to present something satisfactory; so, if your advisor makes their money from fees from the company, they can recommend a product with high fees if it works for you, even if there are products with smaller fees available.
- How do you measure success?
This general question should give you an idea of their work ethic and goals. If they measure success with a high standard, then they might have your best interests in mind. Success is different for everyone, so hear their answer out and decide if it matches your own work ethic and goals. This can be a way to connect with the advisor—something we always recommend when searching for an advisor.
After answering these questions, along with some research, you should have enough information to decide if you want to continue with the advisor or firm. If you’re still unsure, it might mean you need to keep shopping. At RGA, we are a fiduciary and have a team of financial advisors, retirement planning experts, a CPA, estate planning attorney, and more with many qualifications. Our investment philosophy is simple: we cater to you and design custom plans and proposals to best suit your needs. Let’s chat for 30-minutes— we can do phone, video, or in-office visits. Contact us at 1-800-467-8152 or email@example.com so we can help you plan your best retirement!