What To Ask Before Choosing a Financial Advisor
group

10 Questions to Help You Choose a Financial Advisor

Be Intentional About Who Will Guide Your Retirement Planning

We all dream of a relaxing, carefree retirement that allows us to enjoy the fruits of our decades of hard work. However, this may be possible with proper planning. Whether you’re getting an early start or you’re nearing retirement age, it’s helpful to seek out the guidance of a professional financial advisor to ensure you’re taking the right steps to maximize your nest egg.

With so much riding on your retirement planning, it’s important to be intentional about the advisor you choose. You’ll want to find someone who you feel comfortable with, who takes the time to answer questions, and who can provide the type of advice and services you need.

With that in mind, consider the following ten questions as a suggested interview for potential financial advisors:

1.     Why did you get started in this business and what do you like about your job?

Understanding a person’s motivations for their career – and whether they find meaning in it – can prevent you from choosing someone who might just be punching the clock with no intrinsic investment in the work. Ideally, your financial advisor will have a passion for helping people achieve their financial and life goals, and that passion should come through in their body language and eye contact, not just in their words.

2.     What services do you provide?

Not all financial advisors specialize in the same types of advice and planning. Only you know your particular financial and retirement goals, so make sure they offer the services you truly need. For example, if you’re interested in a long-term investment strategy or in managing your expenses in retirement, make sure these are included in any potential advisor’s services.

3.     What qualifications do you hold?

You’ll want to choose an advisor with advanced financial and retirement planning education. Designations to look for include Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®). If retirement planning is of particular interest to you, an additional credential of note is Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®).

If you’d like to verify a financial advisor’s certifications, the Designation Check is a helpful resource.

4.     Can you describe your investment philosophy?

What you’re looking for here is the discipline behind an advisor’s investment strategy, as well as how those strategies help clients achieve their goals. Be wary if an advisor uses fancy terminology or is unclear. Any legitimate professional should be able to articulate their philosophy without hesitation and in terms that you can understand.

5.     How are you compensated?

Financial advisors may be paid hourly, per transaction, or annually based on the total value of your assets. Others are compensated on commission for the products they provide. Find out upfront how you will be expected to compensate your advisor and what their rates are. While it may seem like a good idea to avoid those who charge more, high-priced advisors may be worth it if they have a track record of producing favorable results for clients.

6.     Are you a fiduciary?

This is an important question because it means that the financial advisor is legally obligated to act in a client’s best interest, rather than for personal gain. A fiduciary will always point you toward investments that will help you meet your goals, rather than furthering their own.

7.     Does your firm hold my assets?

A financial advisor should contract with a reputable custodian to manage your assets, only coming into contact with your money or investments to the extent that you are paying a fee for their services. A custodian is a third-party that holds your assets and processes transactions, while also collecting dividends and interest and making distributions. Sometimes, the custodian may be owned by the advisor’s firm.

8.     How will we stay in contact about my investments?

Ideally, your advisor will touch base with you regularly and meet with you on an ongoing basis. In these meetings, they should go over your investments, talk about the overall status of your portfolio, make appropriate changes to your plan as necessary, and address any questions or concerns you may have.

9.     What happens to my money if you leave the firm?

Just like any other professional, financial advisors retire, leave their firms for new jobs or become otherwise unable to continue serving your needs. You should know and understand your advisor’s exit plan, so that you can be sure your financial affairs will continue to be handled properly and that you will receive the attention you deserve.

10.  What else do I need to know about working with you?

This can be an especially revealing question to ask at the end of an interview because it will help you see whether the advisor has been actively engaged in the conversation with you. It’s the time for the advisor to bring up anything you may have neglected to discuss or to further demonstrate their outlook on helping clients achieve their financial and retirement goals.

Closing Thoughts

It’s crucial to find a financial advisor who will be a good match for your needs. You should both feel comfortable with the partnership and have a clear understanding of how the relationship will work. Asking the right questions – and listening thoughtfully to the answers – can help you determine whether you’ve found the right professional partner for you.

 


This information is provided and intended to be used for general educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation for you to buy or sell any financial product. This information is not mean to be relied upon as actual financial or tax advice. The ideas, thoughts, and strategies presented here are those of the Management Team and provide an insight to our views at Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC and its affiliates. None of this information is intended to give you specific tax, investment, real estate, legal, estate, or financial advice. The planning and ideas in this data are not suitable for all individuals or situations. Consult a qualified financial professional before making any investment decision.

All research information provided is public source material. This material may also include additional references to articles, news, commentary, opinions, viewpoints, analyses, and other information developed by Peak Financial Freedom Group and/or affiliated and/or unaffiliated third parties, which is subject to change at any time without notice. Information and opinions provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Peak Financial Freedom Group and its affiliates are not responsible for errors or omissions in the material and do not necessarily approve of or endorsed the information provided. This information is provided “as is” and no party makes any representations or warranties of any kind either express or implied, with respect to this information. Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC and its affiliates do not warrant the information provided to be correct, complete, accurate or timely, and is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the information or any investment decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from, or related to, use of said information. The ideas, thoughts, and strategies presented here are those of our management teams and provide an insight into our views on Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC, and its affiliates. Every detail presented here is subject to change without notice at any time.

Peak Financial Freedom Group
2520 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 110
Roseville, CA 95661

DISCLOSURE:

All presentation data is provided and intended to be used for general educational purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation for you to buy or sell any financial product.  By contacting Peak Financial Freedom Group, you may be offered additional information regarding the purchase of financial products. None of the material presented is intended to give you, nor are the presenters engaged in giving you, specific tax, investment, real estate, legal, estate, retirement, or financial advice, but rather to serve as an educational platform to deliver information; nor is it intended to show you how the strategies presented can specifically apply to your own tax, investment, estate, financial, or retirement position, but rather to offer an idea of how these principles generally may apply. Consult with a qualified investment, tax, legal, and/or retirement advisor before making any decisions.

Stocks, bonds, or mutual funds have risks and can lose principal, even with a stop loss, and there are no guarantees of gains, as past performance is not indicative of future positive investment results. Hypothetical examples are used to explain concepts and are not indicative of potential results you could receive. The sale or liquidation of any stock, bond, IRA, certificate of deposit, mutual fund, annuity, or other asset to fund a new portfolio and/or annuity may have tax consequences, early withdrawal penalties, or other costs and penalties as a result of the sale or liquidation. You can’t invest directly into a stock market index. A fixed index annuity with an income rider can protect your savings from losses and provide you guaranteed lifetime income, but you could incur surrender charges, gains aren’t guaranteed, you’ll pay a fee, and guarantees are backed by the financial strength claims paying ability of the issuing annuity company. If you place assets under management with our firm, we receive advisory fees for assets you place under management and commissions from insurance companies you buy products from. Seminars, radio shows, TV productions, book releases, magazine and book promotions are sponsored, promoted and paid for by Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC.

Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC and Fiduciary Solutions LLC do not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by an unaffiliated third party, whether link to Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC’s web site or incorporated herein and take no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for the convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

2019(1) and 2020(2) Five Star Professional Wealth Manager Award - Dan Ahmad and Jim Files have been nominated for and have won the 2019 and 2020 Five Star Wealth Manager awards. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. Award winners represent an exclusive group of wealth managers who have demonstrated excellence in their field by satisfying 10 objective selection criteria. For additional information on the Five Star award, including a complete list of the 10 objective selection criteria and their research/selection methodology, go to https://fivestarprofessional.com.

Investment advisory services are offered through Fiduciary Solutions, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor (CRD #148118). Insurance products and services are offered through PFFG Insurance Agency LLC, a licensed insurance agency (CA License #0N14103). Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC is a financial planning and umbrella marketing organization, which enables the provision of multiple financial services under one brand. Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC, PFFG Insurance Agency LLC, and Fiduciary Solutions LLC are affiliated entities with common ownership and control. Jim Files is licensed as an investment adviser representative with Fiduciary Solutions LLC (CRD # 1620449) and is a licensed insurance producer with PFFG insurance Agency LLC (CA Insurance License #0F06511). Dan Ahmad is licensed as an investment adviser representative with Fiduciary Solutions LLC (CRD # 1491561) and is a licensed insurance producer with PFFG insurance Agency LLC (CA Insurance License #0732913).

© 2020 Peak Financial Freedom Group