10 Vital Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

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Sometimes investors wonder what questions to ask a financial advisor as soon as the thought of hiring them comes to mind.

Nevertheless, when you consult an expert who will be in charge of your monetary affairs, you need to ask questions. The first question to ask a financial advisor would be “how do you work?”

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At this point, you need so much information from the expert and there are many important things to know.

Asking the right questions and getting the appropriate answer would give you the confidence and belief to entrust your financial affairs to the advisor. Therefore, it is important to avoid asking unnecessary questions.

The questions an investor needs to ask a financial advisor should be concise and business-like. Although it should seem like an interview but more of an interactive meeting.

This is to make sure you extract the necessary information that will help you to build a trusting relationship.

While asking these questions, maintain a confident posture and pay attention to the responses. Make the atmosphere look communicable and avoid any form of distraction.

On the other hand, a financial advisor should be able to answer every question that relates to his or her profession without mincing words.

questions to ask a financial advisor

Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

How do you work?

From the investor, this question simply means an introduction to getting a good knowledge of the client. While the financial advisor would start by introducing him or herself, saying his name, age, and background. Then finally introducing what he does for clients. For instance, the financial advisor would answer:

“My name is Mr. Pete Hooks; I am 36 years, from Yorkshire. I am a professional in financial matters. I help clients manage their finances as well as help them to reach their financial goals.

I give quality service by making sure you get maximum satisfaction in what I do. I start by asking you to let me know your overall financial structure.

If there are any lop-holes, I will advise you on solutions. If there is anywhere, you need improvement, I will give you suggestions and if you need to start, I will encourage you on what to do. Finally, there will be an agreement before proceeding.

Now these few lines that answer the first vital question may serve as an introduction but it will give the investor a guideline on how to ask further questions

What are your qualifications?

The next vital question to ask a financial advisor is the qualification, what credentials does he or she possess?

This is important as different degrees are awarded to financial advisors depending on the course the individual attended.  

For instance, we have a chartered financial consultant, certified financial planner, and chartered financial analyst.

However, one thing very common about these qualifications is that they all point toward financial issues.

The holders can handle financial matters depending on the manner in which they operate.  

What is your advisory focus?

The advisory focus simply means the area of specialization, which may also relate to the financial advisor’s qualification. This is where the advisor needs to state specifically what he intends to do for the investor.

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How he intends to help the client in achieving financial goals as well as increase financial revenue.

For instance, the expert’s advisory focus might be on helping the client save more money and minimize expenses. Again, it might be to help the client build more means of gaining revenue to achieve retirement goals.

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Have you worked for any organization or individual?

The financial advisor needs to be sincere, even if there is no work experience. Let us say this is just the first time of been hired as a financial advisor.

There is no point or genuine reason to say he has worked for one or two firms while the investor is the first client. Maybe for fear of losing the job and so lying.  

The investor has to find out if the advisor has worked with any company or firm. This could help to ascertain the advisor’s level of expertise.

How do you intend to work for me?

Although the advisor has given you a little summary of how he intends to start with you during the first question. At this point, you need to re-ask this question again in other to understand his mission properly.

The advisor should be able to emphasize this question more by repeating the initial statement and adding more juice to it.  

This question is very important because this is where the relationship between the investor and the advisor lies.

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What financial strategies do you have?

The investor would want to know how the advisor intends to manage financial activities. This includes creating and managing income flow, budgeting for expenditures, and saving for emergencies. Managing tax payments as well as investing for retirement. If there is a plan for a long-term goal, then how to reach it and taking insurance policy too.

How do I vouch for your confidentiality?

No investor would want to expose or publish his financial information to a third party and not even to the public.

The financial advisor’s credibility and competency might not just be complete if confidentiality is lacking.

The need to safeguard financial information and keep it private only between the investor and the advisor is important. Therefore this question is also as vital as others. The advisors needs to assure the client of complete secrecy towards every activity he renders to the client on matters relating his or her financial dealings,

Can anyone work in your absence?

This question can be tricky. Since financial records need to be confidential it will not seem well for the advisor to entrust his client’s financial activity to a third party.

Therefore, the answer should be negative. “Can anyone work in your absence?” NO! If anyone should work in the absence of the advisor, it means a third party is involved.

However, if the advisor’s answers appear to be positive, it means the person should be involved from the beginning and included in every agreement.

How much does it cost to hire you?

No stipulated amount or rule states how much it costs to hire a financial advisor. It depends on the agreement between the investor and the advisor.

The advisor may demand to be paid a certain fee based on services rendered hourly or may apply a flat rate.

While on the other hand the advisor may demand a commission or get paid based on the number of assets the investor declared.

Do you work with an attorney?

In some cases, financial advisors are lawyers or legal representatives, while in other cases they may have a legal practitioner set aside in case the need arises. Therefore, if the financial advisor is an attorney it becomes a great advantage for the client otherwise they may agree to hire one.

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