Getting the right financial planner is not always easy. The hardest thing we can do as working adults is trust other people with our money, right? This is particularly true when it comes to investing. With the various crooks that pop up on CNN every night it seems, financial planners don’t exactly have the best reputation lately. So how do you go about finding a good one? Where do you even begin?
One important part is knowing what questions to ask. You should always “interview” any financial planner you hire, right? What do you say to get the answers you need?
Five Questions You Should Ask Every Financial Planner
Here are five important questions to ask financial planners before using their services:
What is your specialty?
This is a vital question because not every financial planner is going to be good at everything. Find out what they are known for and what they hang their hats on? If that is something that is important to you as an investor, then you might be on to something when those things match up.
What is your fee structure?
It is amazing how many times a financial planner will stumble all over this question. If they can’t explain the fee structure to you in a few simple sentences, then walk out the door and politely thank them for their time. Why? Complicated fee structures means that they are going to be taking large bites out of your investment….or it could mean that your advisor is not terribly bright. Both are pretty bad in the scope of what you are trusting them with.
May I See Your Credentials?
Why would you not want to see them? Verify them? This one is self explanatory. Do your homework and ask questions if you are unclear.
What is your investment strategy?
Do they uses low cost funds or do they like to shoot for the higher ones? These questions can really help to narrow down to the field once you have found a few financial planners that you like. You want to have someone that has the same strategy instincts that you do. This will create a natural comfort level between the two of you. The worst thing in the world is to have an advisor that is constantly touting strategies that stress you out.
How hard is it to get in touch with you?
Of all of the questions, this one is the most overlooked by potential clients. Financial advisors that are impossible to get in touch with are the absolute worst. This can frustrate people to maddening levels and it is something you really need to ask around about. Make sure that your advisor will be available to you. Talk with them frankly about how much attention you will likely need and make sure they can provide the level of service you require. This is a very important part of finding a good financial planner and should never be overlooked.
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