The 15 Questions You Need to Ask Your Financial Adviser
You’ve worked hard and saved carefully. Now you’re ready to make your money work for you. It’s time to partner with a trusted professional who will make sure your portfolio is invested with your specific needs in mind. At Adviser Investments, we’ve helped our clients build their wealth and achieve their financial goals since 1994. Whether you’re considering working with us, or with someone else, we’d like to help you find the right adviser
Before signing the paperwork, it is important to ask a series of questions to determine whether you’re hiring the right adviser for you and what you’ll get from the relationship. No two financial advisers are alike, so take the time to educate yourself and choose a partner who understands your needs and can help you reach your objectives.
Some of the questions we’ve compiled may be particularly relevant to your circumstances, while others may not. Take the time to think about not only what kind of adviser you need, but also the kind of answers you’d expect to hear from that person. This is not an exhaustive list; it is intended to help you prepare for this important conversation and set you up to make the very best decision. Don’t be afraid to speak up and don’t be shy about asking any other questions you may have.
After all, it’s your money. Deciding how it’s managed and finding the right partner to help you do it are the foundation of a successful, long-term relationship.
Issues to Consider
Before diving into the details, we believe it’s important to get an overall sense of the adviser’s approach to investing and the markets. Not only is it prudent to understand the adviser’s investment philosophy, but also to know if it meshes with your own. An adviser who focuses solely on rapid stock-trading strategies will not be compatible with a long-term investor seeking steady retirement income or a risk-aware, diversified portfolio.
Experience and Qualifications
It doesn’t take a lot to hang out a shingle and claim to be an investment adviser. Years of experience in the business and a strong core of clients are several characteristics that can demonstrate the stability of someone you’re entrusting with your money. And while it might be uncomfortable to bring up, you should always ask whether the prospective adviser has ever been disciplined by any professional or regulatory bodies
Services and specializations vary widely from firm to firm. It’s important to understand, up front, how an adviser’s particular expertise or the services provided line up with your needs.
How is your adviser paid? In an industry where technical jargon can quickly become confusing and overwhelming, an adviser should clearly communicate what services you’ll be getting and what you’ll pay for it as well as the ways the adviser is compensated.
The Right Fit
In our 25-plus years of listening to and working with clients, we’ve learned that no financial adviser is right for every type of client. Yes, you want to make sure their investment strategy is the right fit for you, your family and your individual objectives. But chemistry with you and commitment to clients are also important to gauge.
Sample Questions to Ask
This material is distributed for information purposes only; it is not financial advice. Speak to your financial adviser for advice specific to your circumstances before taking action. The investment ideas and expressions of opinion may contain certain forward-looking statements and should not be viewed as recommendations or personal investment advice, or considered an offer to buy or sell specific securities. Data and statistics contained in this report are obtained from what we believe to be reliable sources; however, their accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.
Statements and opinions contained herein are subject to change without notice and are not to be construed as guarantees of any particular outcome. You may request a free copy of the firm’s Form ADV Part 2A, which describes, among other items, risk factors, strategies, affiliations, services offered and fees charged.
Past performance is not an indication of future returns. Tax, legal and insurance information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice, or as advice on whether to buy or surrender any insurance products. Personalized tax advice and tax return preparation is available through a separate, written engagement agreement with Adviser Investments Tax Solutions. We do not provide legal advice, nor sell insurance products. Always consult a licensed attorney, tax professional, or licensed insurance professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation, or insurance needs.
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