Speak With Confidence
An open, honest and transparent consultation with a Personal Financial Specialist? Isn‘t that what we all aim for when it comes to needing one‘s advice?
We know that jumping head first into a private conversation about your dollar bills could feel uneasy...But lacking the right questions? Downright Intimidating.
That's why we packed 6 useful questions for you, to guide and help you set the tone of your first financial consultation. Because a little preparation is the key to open cooperation!
1. Are You A Fiduciary Bound To Act In My Best Interest?
Fiduciary duty is an established ethical and legal principle that many financial advisors abide by. Accordingly, a fiduciary carries the responsibility to always act in your best interest and not simply recommend products that are deemed "suitable" for you.
2. How Do You Get Paid?
Naturally, financial advisors' fees will vary in accordance with many factors including your location, investment amount and complexity of your financial plan.
But typically, there are 3 most common types of payment structure:
- Commission - based on a percentage of your investment
- Fee Only - flat fee, hourly rate or a % of the assets they manage for you
- Fee Based - a mix of a base fee and commissions.
If you feel like you are getting a little pushback, go ahead and ask a clearer question: "How much are the all-in costs that I should expect to come out of my pocket every year?"
Don't be nervous to ask! You may lack the confidence around the details of your financial life, but don't forget that it is YOU who pays to get that clarified.
3. What Is The Scope Of Services I Could Expect To Get From You?
Understanding all the different services that your financial advisor can help you with is important, as it ties in with the amount you are going to pay.
The list could vary from full financial planning to risk management and insurance planning, education saving planning that helps put your kids through college, tax planning, retirement planning, portfolio or debt management and estate planning, among others.
Whatever it is you need, clarifying your goals in advance, will give you the upper hand when choosing the right service package for you!
4. What Are Your Qualifications?
Deciphering a confusing list of initials and abbreviations that come with your advisor's name, could be a daunting task. But understanding their credentials will bring you a step closer to a more open and trusting relationship.
A good starting point is to search sites like the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) for detailed information like education, certifications and peer ratings.
5. How Will Our Relationship Work?
Understanding your advisor's role and responsibilities along with your own, could have a significant effect on the dynamics of your future relationship.
Are you willing to put your own thoughts and ideas up for discussion or would you rather sit back and absorb all they 6 have to offer? Is it an active or passive relationship that you
What will be the nature of your future communication? Do you meet quarterly? Do you skype or phone...?
Set your expectations early on and build on your relationship!
6. What Happens When We Stop Working Together?
Although it might seem like a bummer question to ask on a first "date", you need to always be prepared and know what to expect from a potential divorce!
Your Wealth Is Yours To Spend. An Advisor Is Just Your Managing Friend.
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