How Do You Get Paid
Advisors can use a variety of fee structures. To keep it simple and avoid conflicts of interest, focus on fee-only advisors. They dont get commissions for selling products.
“Make sure its fee-only those particular words,” says Alice Finn, founder of PowerHouse Assets and author of “Smart Women Love Money,” a guide to investing.
Fee-only advisors might charge a percentage of the assets they manage for you , a flat fee for services or an hourly fee. If cost is a concern, you may want to go with a low-fee robo-advisor or an online planning service like those mentioned above.
Are They Asking You Questions
Questions an advisor asks a potential client during an initial meeting can be telling. Financial planning is much more than numbers. An advisor who focuses on touting stellar performance is probably best avoided. Instead, they should be asking you about your financial goals, concerns you may have, and how comfortable you are with risk when it comes to investing.
What Are Your Fees
Fee arrangements vary widely. Ask how fees are calculated and how your advisor is compensated. Fee-only advisors are compensated directly by the client. Fees are transparent, and the advisors dont receive any hidden compensation for the advice they render. Advisors who are fee-based not only collect a fee from the client, they also accept commissions and compensation from the products or services they recommend.
SageVest Wealth Management is structured as a fee-only advisory firm.
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How To Find The Best Financial Advisor For You
Sometimes you wont need to go to all the legwork to interview a financial advisor. For example, if youre only interested in investing a smaller amount of money, you may choose a robo-advisor or a hybrid robo-advisor, which will allow you to also consult with a human financial advisor as needed for specific questions.
Another option is a financial advisor who works virtually. These types of advisors may specialize in a certain niche, which can make them perfect if youre only interested in a specific service, such as retirement planning or estate planning.
Evaluation Question #: Am I Happy With My Financial Advisors Communication With Me
A great financial advisor should take the initiative to communicate with you, based on your preferences. And if you have to leave a barrage of voicemails and unreturned texts before they finally get back to you, thats not a good sign!
Every time you meet with your financial advisor, you should feel more knowledgeable and more empowered to make decisions about your investments. Thats one way to spot the truly great financial advisors: Theyre great teachers! If your current investing pro responds to your questions and concerns with eyerolls and half-hearted answers, its probably time to part ways.
How Do You Measure Client Success
Everyone has a different idea of what success looks like. Ask the advisor how he/she measures it and what goals/benchmarks he/she uses. Does the advisor focus on client goals, set his own benchmarks or something else? Make sure your values align.
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What Is Your Philosophy On Financial Planning
A financial advisor isnt going to bat a thousand when giving recommendations and advice. When it comes to financial planning, the process is more important than the outcome because outcomes can be altered by things outside of our control . You dont want to run from advisor to advisor looking for someone who only picks winning stocks. Instead, you want to look for a personality match someone whose philosophy and values mirror your own.
Is your advisor optimistic about the future or cautious? Would they recommend a portfolio of mostly growth stocks or do they diversify into commodities like gold? Do cryptocurrencies hold any place in their portfolios? You wont find someone who never misses, so be sure you find someone whose philosophy you agree with.
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What Will Be My Total Cost To Work With You
After you find out how the financial advisor is paid, its important to also ask about the total cost of services so there are no surprises. Ask whether the financial advisor will give you a statement that details all fees and commissions and if you will be able to easily understand the breakdown of those costs.
How Do You Manage Demanding Clients Who Want Unethical Advice
The goal of this question is to determine whether a candidate would follow all regulations and laws, even if a client pushes them to act unethically. What to look for in an answer:
- Honesty and integrity
- Desire to follow laws and regulations
- Communication skills
“I make sure I clearly state to all my clients that I would not or advise them to carry out unethical activities. As a registered financial advisor, I understand the implications of breaking the law and the disciplinary actions for unethical activities. I also reassure my clients that my profile is not on the discipline list of the Canadian Securities Administrators and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.”
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Best Interview Questions When Applying For A Financial Planning Job
Once you have done your due diligence, it’s time for part two, and part two is the interview itself. Again, as I mentioned earlier, I know when you’re interviewing, your primary focus is to try to make sure you present yourself well so you get the job. But you need to ask questions to make sure you get the job you actually want. And so, in that context, I’m going to give 10 questions I recommend you ask when you’re evaluating a prospective financial planning job opportunity, so that you can try to understand a little bit more of what you’re getting into.
Do Others Benefit From Advice You Give Me
Maybe your potential advisor doesnt earn commissions, but that doesnt mean they wont steer you into funds or products that benefit their firm. While this might not be a classic conflict of interest, you still want to know if anyone else stands to benefit from decisions made with your money. Make sure that the only person benefiting from the advice is you.
Interviewing before hiring the right financial advisor is a crucial step in reaching your financial goals. Dont do it alone and make sure you have someone you trust by your side the whole way.
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Working with a Certified Financial Planner is an excellent investment of your time and money. With the high standards for CFP® certification, youll know youre getting the expertise and knowledge of a highly-trained and educated professional who will always act in your best interests and with the loftiest ethical standards.
The team of retirement planners and investment advisors at Advanced Retirement Strategies in Bountiful, Utah includes two Certified Financial Planners who specialize in helping diligent savers with $250,000 or more of investment and retirement assets prepare for and then transition into retirement.
If youre looking for a CFP® to help you live the retirement you have dreamed of, contact us today.
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Why Did You Become A Planner
Unfortunately, a lot of folks get into the advisory business because they want to make a lot of money. You want an advisor who chose this profession as a calling a genuine desire to help people. It will be easy to tell, merely by asking the question. An advisor will either hem and haw, or theyll immediately be able to share a personal story that conveys their true purpose. The most compassionate advisors are those who had a personal experience that spurred them to enter this profession. So, ask them to tell their story. And while everyone deserves to make an honest living, making money shouldnt be your advisors primary motivation.
Questions To Ask A Financial Advisor
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Before you commit to a financial advisor, you want to make sure youre hiring the best person for you and your situation. Start by asking yourself a key question, then check out the 10 questions you should ask an advisor before hiring one.
How Will I Pay For Your Services
Your planner should disclose in writing how s/he will be paid for the services they provide. Understand how your potential planner will be compensated and choose whatever model works best for you. Planners can be paid in several ways:
From the cost of the product: Some planners receive their compensation directly from the product manufacturer when you purchase a product through the planner. For example, their compensation is part of the management fee of the fund. In this case no money is exchanged between the client and the planner. Rather, the cost to the client is embedded in the cost of the mutual fund.
Percentage of assets under management: Some planners will charge a fee as a percentage of the assets they are managing or administering on your behalf.
Fee-for-service: Some planners charge an hourly or set fee for the service they provide.
Questions You Should Ask A Financial Advisor
You know how to buy a refrigerator. You shop around to compare features and prices. Its the same when youre seeking the services of a financial advisor. So, interview two or three advisors so you can compare them.
And even if you already have an advisor, consider asking them the following questions, too to confirm youve made the right choice.
After all, you can always change advisors anytime!
Here are the 11 questions you should ask advisors youre considering.
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How Do You Approach Taxes And Fees With My Investments
When it comes to your money and investing, paying the minimum amount in fees and taxes is important. So a question you should ask your potential financial advisor is how they approach taxes and fees on your investments.
Not only can and should a financial advisor be able to help you understand your taxes and fees, but take an approach that saves you money.
Your potential advisor should be able to provide recommendations, have a strategy, and be upfront about your potential results after any fees or taxes.
Questions You Should Ask Any Financial Advisor Youre Interviewing
Just as no two people are ever the same, neither is any financial situation. We all have different relationships with money, and your net worth isnt a direct indicator of your attitude about your financial life. So with all these different ways of dealing with money, it makes perfect sense that pretty much every financial advisor would be different, too.
As such, that can make the task of finding the right kind of financial advisor for you a pretty confusing one. How do you find the best one to suit your needs? And what if you dont necessarily even know what your needs really are?
Ive seen first hand how a healthy relationship between your money and your priorities can make an impact on your life. Finding the right financial professional to help you manage your money in a healthy and impactful way is crucial.
Because money isnt really the key to freedom. Building an awareness of your values and priorities and a willingness to use money as a tool to advance them thats what really opens the doors to a whole world of possibility.
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Are There Any Conflicts Of Interest I Should Be Aware Of
All financial advisors have some conflicts of interestits just the nature of the work. For example, they may charge higher fees for certain services than others, and as a result, they may encourage you to sign up for services that cost you more and benefit them.
But there are certain conflicts of interest youll want to steer clear of.
If the advisor youre interviewing is not a fiduciary, there is likely a conflict of interest. Advisors without fiduciary status arent legally obligated to put your needs above their own, so the rules allow them to look after themselves first. Advisors who work on commission also have the potential to push certain products on you so they can earn more money.
How Do I Interview A Financial Advisor
Selecting a financial advisor is an extremely important decision. A great one can benefit you and your family for generations to come, while a poor selection can be devastating. You and your family may be working with this advisor over the next 10, 20, or 30 years plus. The advisor can have a substantial impact on the quality of life for you and future generations. How can you choose the right one?
While much is written about choosing the right investment, very little is written about choosing the right financial advisor. And yet an advisor can have a much greater impact than any single investment choice. If you were interviewing a potential advisor, how would you go about selecting that person? Remember this person can have a tremendous financial impact on you.
Would you go in blind to the interview and wait for the financial consultant to sell you? Would you just hope for the best? Wouldnt it make more sense to put together a list of questions to help determine if they are the right person for you and your family before you hire them?
But what questions should be asked? What questions will separate competent advisors from product pushers and transaction junkies? What questions can help you land the great advisor in a sea of average professionals?
Based on my experience as a financial advisor, I have developed a list of questions to help you sort the real deal advisor from the many pretenders that operate in the financial services industry.
One Final Note . . .
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Questions To Ask Financial Advisor Before Hiring
31.In addition to what I pay you, what other costs will I have to absorb?
32.If you arent a fee-only advisor, are you eligible for bonuses for your work? How can you earn them?
33.Does your company offer contests for selling investment products?
34.Do you specialize in certain types of clients?
35.How do you develop your investment recommendations?
36.How would you describe your investment philosophy?
37.Will you be creating an investment policy statement for me?
38.What is the average portfolio size that you handle?
39.What specific services do you provide?
40.How often will we have meetings?
41.What custodians, broker dealers, and mutual fund providers such as Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity, do you use in your practice?
42.Have you ever been disciplined for illegal or unethical behavior?
43.Can you give me three client references?
44.Are you a fiduciary? In other words, are you required by regulation to put your clients interests ahead of those of your firm and its employees?
45.How do you charge for your services? Are you a fee-only advisor thats almost always preferable? Or are you compensated by commissions or a combination of fees and commissions ?
What Wealth Management Principles Would You Advise A Client To Follow
A good financial advisor is a wealth management expert. By asking this question, you can determine which strategy a candidate prefers. What to look for in an answer:
- Excellent communication skills
- Clear explanation of wealth management principles
- Understanding of the importance of wealth management
“I would advise my clients to first take charge of their wealth management process early and align interests with wealth-building goals. Then, create an accountability culture and maximize their financial resources. Next, delegate and diversify their resources to minimize their risk. Finally, stick to a simple wealth management strategy and develop family leaders with strong wealth management skills.”
Question #: What Extra Costs Should I Be Aware Of
The fee an advisor charges for their services may not include all costs. Advisors may charge additional fees for services that are more complex or that they consider to be extra. For example, an advisor may create a financial plan for you, but then charge extra for implementing that plan.
Youll also be responsible for trading and brokerage costs, as well as fund fees. These additional costs can add up, so be sure youre aware of all of the fees youll be responsible for paying before deciding to work with an advisor.
How Are You Paid
Financial advisors are paid in one of three models: commission-based, fee-only or a combination of the two. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors prohibits its members from accepting commissions. This increases transparency and reduces the chance that an advisor will recommend products that may not be the best fit for the client.
Who Are Your Typical Clients
If you have specific investment needs, its a good idea to choose an advisor whos used to dealing with them. Many financial advisors work with specific types of clients and understand their particular needs.
For instance, an advisor who works mostly with millennials is likely to know all about matters like refinancing student loans, writing a prenuptial agreement, or saving for your childrens education. An advisor who works with small-business owners will know how to handle business tax deductions, set up a , and create a health plan.
Look for a financial advisor whos used to working with people in your situation. They will understand your needs and be familiar with tools that can help you meet your financial goals.