What are 10 Questions to ask of a potential advisor?
The Certified Financial Planning Board has published ten questions to ask before establishing a relationship with a financial planner.
Listen and evaluate
1) What experience do you have?
Financial planner’s work experience as it relates to their current practice
2) What are your qualifications?
Credentials and how the planner stays up to date with current changes and developments in the financial planning field
Lou Melone is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.
Additionally, please see Lou’s biography to learn more about him on our Associates page.
3) What financial planning services do you offer?
Licenses and credentials as generally, financial planners cannot sell insurance, or securities products without proper licenses. And they cannot give investment advice unless registered with state or federal authorities.
4) What is your approach to financial planning?
Make sure you understand and agree with the planner’s investment philosophy
Some planner’s want client’s to have a certain amount of assets or net worth
6) Will you be the only financial planner working with me?
Some financial planners work directly with their clients, others have a team of people. Make sure you know who you will work with and understand who if any outside professionals you might work with and be sure to check their backgrounds.
7) How will I pay for your financial planning services?
Planners can be paid in several ways: fees, commissions or a combination of both.
8) How much do you typically charge?
The financial planner should be able to provide you with an estimate of possible costs based on the work to be performed. Costs should include the planner’s hourly rates, or flat fees, or the percentage of commission received on products you may purchase
9) Do others stand to gain from the financial advice you give me?
The planner should provide you with a description of his or her conflicts of interest in writing.
CFP® professionals abide by a strict code of professional conduct and have an ethical obligation to put your needs first when providing financial planning advice. We are a fiduciary and therefore act in the best interest of our clients at all time.
10) Have you ever been publicly disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your career?
The financial planner should be able to provide you with the organizations he or she regulated by so you can contact these groups for a background check.