3 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

Do You Feel the Professionals In Your Life Are On Your Team?

Is your doctor looking out for your well being all the time? Or ordering up unnecessary tests?

Is your accountant giving your tax return a proper analysis? Or, rushing through and missing out on important deductions?

Is your financial advisor managing your money in accordance with your goals and objectives? Or, investing in high commission products that won’t help you accomplish squat?

Not sure?

Well, if you just left the office of any of the above and instead of “Advice” you felt you were just “sold” something…….that should tell you something

How did it feel?

Not very good I bet.

It’s time to flip the switch and take control. You are not “required” to work with anyone and if you are going to spend your hard earned money, make sure it’s on the people that are bringing value to your life! And I know for a fact there are great people out there–so put in the effort to find them!

How do you figure it out?

I have boiled it down to 3 questions you should ask ALL PROFESSIONALS in your life at some point or another. Their answers should make it very clear, whether they are truly giving you “Advice” or showing off their “Salesmanship”

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3 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

— -Which are 3 questions your advisor probably DOES NOT want you to ask!

Note: because I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® its easy for me to put this in the context of my industry, but I swear you can use these across the board.

Here they are:

  1. How do you get paid?
  2. What was the basis of your last recommendation?
  3. Tell me about how you manage your own money? (health, taxes)

Personally, I love when clients ask me these questions. It tells me immediately that they are IN THE GAME. They value their time, their money and they aren’t messing around.

My kind of people!

Their Answers

1.How do you get paid?

This question doesn’t have to be the first out the gate, but make sure you work it into your initial conversation.

Let’s keep everyone honest!

The answer should be very straight forward. BAM! No tricks. No hidden fees, no surprise costs and no fumbling.

This doesn’t have to be a secret because if you don’t find value in their work (no matter the industry) you won’t want to pay their fee. Period! Time to weed out those who just can’t cut it!

Are you comfortable with how and how much they are getting paid?

Some things are non-negotiable and you just have to accept the fact that good work might cost a bit more–BUT IT’S YOUR CHOICE ON HOW TO SPEND YOUR DOLLARS. So choose wisely!

For years financial advisors tried to keep how they got paid a secret. But thankfully today transparency rules the roost!

2. What was the basis of you last recommendation?

This question might not have a straight forward answer. Some things in life are customized to the situation and are constantly involving. What you should be looking for is that your professional (any industry ) HAS A PROCESS. Are they shooting from the hip? Are they making it up as they go along. These professionals are sales people. A true professional has a process. Their process should be something that has been refined through years of practice and you get to benefit from all that refinement.

In my opinion, that is something worth paying for!

3. Tell Me How You Manage Your Own Money

If I am sitting in front of you telling you I am an expert, I should have no problem sharing with you WHAT I DO FOR MYSELF. I believe you are trying to find out if I eat my own cooking! And if my cooking is good enough for YOU, it better be good enough for ME!

You might feel uncomfortable asking this question, but you shouldn’t be. A professional should want to share with you about their life and what they are doing! Don’t forget–they are on your team!

Example: I have walked out of many car dealerships where the sales person was NOT driving what they were selling–and you wonder why they get a bad rap??

Wrap up

These are the questions to ask your financial advisor today. Use them when interviewing a new advisor or an advisor you have had for years.

A spot on your personal team is a special place and should be held for those who can answer these questions in a manner that works for you!

As always, you can consult with me to discuss your personal situation

Look for future posts on the best ways to invest your money and check out my recent post why we are human investors

Lastly click here to sign up for all great stuff The Art of Financial Planning has to offer!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you achieve financial success!

Previously posted on The Art of Financial Planning.

— Jared Friedman Independent Certified Financial Planner in NJ

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