From retirement and investment planning to asset management, finding a financial planner whose combined experience and expertise match your unique needs can seem overwhelming—especially with so many financial planning firms out there. Aside from referrals, which are excellent resources for finding the best financial advisor near you, there are specific questions you can ask potential advisors that will ultimately demonstrate their abilities (and interest) to serve your financial and investment needs.
What are some unique characteristics about your firm and its services?
It’s a good idea to ask this question at the start of a conversation with a potential advisor. You’re essentially asking them to things: “what makes you so different from other firms?” and “why should I choose you over your competitors?”. If the financial advisor does not offer solid answers or fails to demonstrate the firm’s capabilities, it’s a clear indicator that the conversation is over, and you should move on.
What’s your investment philosophy?
This is another great question to ask in the beginning of the conversation, as it allows you to gain a genuine sense of the advisor’s decision-making process, and whether or not it aligns with your investment planning goals.
How often do you connect with your clients?
Some financial planning advisors schedule an initial meeting to get the process started and correspond with clients on a quarterly or yearly basis. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, as the right answer depends on your preference. If you like to receive quarterly updates or meet regularly with your advisor, you’ll want to ensure there is a clear communication schedule that suits your needs. This is also a great opportunity to ask whether you will be working with a financial advisor individually or with other members of the firm as well.
What do you charge for services performed?
It’s likely you won’t find this type of information on the firm’s website, so make sure you understand how (and how much) the advisor will charge you for services performed. Don’t be afraid to discuss your budget, as some advisors may offer to charge you by the hour.
Whether you already have a financial advisor, or you’re interested in hiring one, you’ll want to decide which advisor offers the right set of skills and resources to help you manage and grow your finances.
At Focus Financial, we believe it’s important for individuals to find an experienced independent financial advisor, who understands their specific situation and will provide them with individualized support. To learn more about our services or to schedule a free consultation, contact our firm today!