Four Questions to Ask Any Financial Advisor

Are you looking for referrals for the right financial planner? Are you wondering which financial adviser will meet your needs? To determine if a financial advisor is right for you, use the following four-step process.

1. Check your advisor’s background. Make sure you check the background of your advisor using BrokerCheck, a free service provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The service is private (your advisor won’t know you checked), and any violation you find is worth thinking about. Depending on the results of this search, you may want to find another financial advisor.

2. Ask what he or she charges (and how). Ask what your advisor charges, and how the fee is structured (a fee based on assets under management, commission, etc.). Your advisor will not be offended. In fact, he or she likely expects this question and is used to discussing it.

3. Find out what services you will be receiving. Once you understand what you are paying and how the fee is charged, it’s time to find out what you’re buying. In addition to providing continual portfolio monitoring services, your financial advisor may conduct in-person reviews with clients each year.

4. Get references. Ask the advisor for professional references. Established professionals can point you to others who have used their services and can provide feedback on their experience. A personal referral is worth a lot.

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