There are a lot of different ways that people start working with a particular financial advisor. Often it is through a meeting at a business or social event or through a recommendation by a friend or family member.
While these are good options to find a financial advisor, not all advisors are a good match for every individual and family. Instead of thinking of your first visit to the financial advisor as working with them, think of it as interviewing them to see if you wish to continue.
A top financial advisor will understand that the first meeting is an initial consultation process that is designed to test if their skills, experience and expertise are a good match for your needs. It is important to have a good idea of the specific issues you want assistance with from the advisors or to use an open ended questions to find out what they recommend.
Some important questions to ask any potential financial advisor include:
• What type of clients do you normally work with?
• What experience do you have as a financial advisor?
• Approximately how many clients do you work with?
• Can you provide assistance with long and short term financial investments, retirement planning, estate planning and in helping with insurance coverage needs?
• What are your specific credentials, training or education that qualifies you be a financial advisor?
• What is your past experience as it relates to financial services, support or investment?
• Can you provide the names of two or three references that can be contacted via phone or email regarding your services?
• Have you had any professional complaints or legal action taken against you in the past?
• Do you use brokers, accountants or attorneys, will they be working on my portfolio and can you provide me with professional information about these individuals?
The more that the financial advisor is going to act on your behalf, such as actually investing for you, the more important it is that you know their professional background and trust them to handle your finances in your best interest.