20 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor
When I was a financial advisor in training, we used to go through a series of roll play scenarios to help us improve our communication skills, and part of the training included practicing potential questions that clients could ask. I personally witnessed dozens of these roll plays and heard the same questions asked over and over again, and if you were to Google “Questions to ask your financial advisor” you would see all of these questions. Some of them are good questions, but I think there are better questions to ask.
For today’s podcast, I asked Eric Roberge, Founder of Beyond Your Hammock to join me and discuss some of the questions we think clients should ask their advisors or planners. Eric is a financial planner like me who is focused on serving a younger client base than most traditional advisors, so I knew he would have some non-traditional suggested questions. Eric and I both agree that there are questions to ask before you start an advisory relationship and questions to ask after it, and we shared both throughout the podcast.
Remember, your relationship with your advisor is very personal and ultimately it surrounds your money, so you want to make sure that you have a comfortable and open relationship from the beginning, and if you don’t find it right away, take your time to meet with other advisors. There are plenty of advisors out there so don’t settle until you find the right one.
What Are We Drinking?
Eric: Dry Grey Goose Martini with a Twist
Shannon: Dirty Hendricks Martini up with Olives
Questions to Ask at the Beginning of Your Advisor Relationship
- What are your credentials?
- How long have you been practicing?
- Do you have any professional designations? (Some may be more appropriate than others and if your planner has a designation that you are not familiar with, ask for more information about the training required to get it or look it up online.)
- What makes you an expert?
- Why do you do what you do?
- How do you get paid?
- How do you invest your own money?
- Do you work with clients like me?
- How do you educate your clients?
- Is your advisory firm held to a fiduciary standard?
- How are you going to communicate with me?
- How should I expect to hear from you?
- How frequently will we meet formally?
- Any other personal questions you want to know. Remember this is like dating and the personal information should flow in both directions
Questions to Ask During your Advisor Relationship
- How are you tracking my progress?
- Ask yourself if there’s anything else you can be doing to improve your financial life. Is it you or the advisor that is keeping you from success?
- If you see something in your account that doesn’t make sense, call and ask your advisor and don’t wait until a meeting
- Do you think we should be doing something different based on X,Y,Z scenario in the world?
- Before making medium sized to large financial decisions, ask your advisor’s opinion first
- Before you make major life changes, ask your advisor how it may impact your progress toward goals
Random Three Questions
- Your company name is Beyond Your Hammock, where would you like to ultimately hang your hammock?
- What is a bucket list item you would like to accomplish sooner than later?
- If you had $10,000 what would you do with it?