First things first: If you’re looking to hire a new financial advisor, interviewing a few prospects is a must do! How else will you know if she/he is the right fit? This is a relationship business, after all. You need to have confidence in the person managing your investments, feel comfortable with them, and get a sense that you’ll be able to build a solid rapport over time.
If you’ve never worked with a financial advisor before, you may be unsure what to expect in that first face-to-face sit-down. No worries. We’ve got you covered with some guidelines:
A few things for starters:
- Financial advisors should always be willing to meet and tell you about themselves, their investment beliefs, and their business. If they’re hesitant to do so, it’s a major red flag – move on to the next, and don’t look back.
- Where your first meeting leads is really up to you. If you want to get into the financial weeds from the get-go, we suggest taking copies of investment account statements, bank statements, insurance policies, and information on any debts or loans you have. Otherwise, you can always go to get a general feel, and follow up later with more information should you want to move forward.
- Take notes. That way, you can go back and review later once you’re ready to make a final decision, and compare how things went in your meetings. Feel free to print these lists of questions, and jot down notes as you go. We left some extra space for you!
What you should ask:
You’ll want to ask these questions to get a basic understanding of the financial advisor, and her/his business practices and investment philosophy.
- Could you tell me about yourself and your professional background?
- Could you tell me about your firm?
- Are you a fiduciary?
- How do you manage money?
- What types of clients do you have?
- How do you get paid?
- How much do you charge?
- How often will you touch base with me?
- What online tools does your firm offer its clients?
- Do you think you’d be a good fit for me, and why?
What the financial advisor should ask you:
An advisor should chat with you about these topics. It’s her/his way of getting to know you and your personal situation.
- What are your short, intermediate, and long-term goals?
- What is your tolerance for risk?
- How’s saving for retirement going?
- Do you have your legal paperwork in order?
- What is your tax situation?
- Do you understand our fees?
- Do you expect any major changes in your life in the near future?
- Do you have any other questions I can help you with?
Getting to know your prospective advisor, and being comfortable can take some time. If you leave your first meeting, hop in the car, and sleep on it, you may very well wake up the next day with follow ups. That’s perfectly okay! Don’t hesitate to check back in, chat over the phone, and ask for a second meeting if needed. This is your money and your future we’re talking about. Take as much time as you need to make that final choice.
If you have any other questions about the interviewing process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.