Hiring a Financial Advisor: 5 Questions to Consider
By: Randy Porzel
Meeting with a Financial Advisor for the first time can be stressful. As you look across the table and disclose your most personal information, how do you know if you’re making the right choice?
It is important to ask some basic questions to ensure you’re dealing with an experienced Financial Advisor:
- What kind of licenses and/or certifications do you have?
- Are you a fiduciary?
- How are you compensated?
- What is your investment philosophy?
But how do you know if this person is really investing in YOU and YOUR family? Here are 5 questions a potential advisor should be discussing with you:
Who are the important people in YOUR life?
Whether you’re planning to grow your family, thinking about the best way to educate your kids, or looking to enter the next stage of your life; your Financial Plan needs to address all the people and causes that are important to you.
What do YOU want to accomplish?
A customized Financial Plan is about you and your goals, which may include each of the following: Cash Flow Planning, Tax Planning, Education Planning, Insurance Planning, Investment Planning, Retirement Income Planning, Fridge Benefit / Stock Option Planning, Estate Planning, Generational Wealth Planning, and/or Business Continuity Planning for those that own their own business. Your advisor should address each of these topics and apply them to your specific objectives.
Where do you see YOURSELF?
Where you see yourself can help build a framework around your Plan. Do you see yourself at Disney with your family? Sitting on an island with a cold drink in your hand? Do you see yourself traveling the world with the people most important in your life? Maybe you see yourself in a new home, or in a different state? As you think through the possibilities in your life, your Financial Advisor should help you plan and understand the impact of these decisions.
When do YOU want to get there?
Some people have very clear goals and set deadlines to meet these goals. But most of us try to make the best decisions with the information we have, hoping everything works out. Regardless of which side you are on, your advisor should help you think through this question to build a roadmap to meet and prioritize your goals. As you run into speed bumps along the way, your Financial Plan should be reevaluated to understand the impact.
Why are YOU planning for the future?
Life is a journey – full of anticipation and excitement, but not without some anxiety. An experienced advisor should help you think through the purpose of your Financial Plan. Why have you spent your life saving your hard-earned money? What gets you out of bed each morning? How do you continue to find purpose as you transition through each stage of your life?
Above all, you should be comfortable with your advisor and trust that he or she has your best interest in mind. Understanding the answers to the questions above will be key to building a Financial Plan, customized for YOU.
The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person. Additional information, including management fees and expenses, is provided on Private Vista’s Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.