Questions to Ask a Prospective Financial Advisor

  1. Tell me about your work experience. How long have you been a financial advisor and what did you do before you became a financial advisor? Why did you choose financial planning?
  2. What is your educational background? Do you hold any designations and or licenses?
  3. How do you keep up-to-date in the field?
  4. What services do you provide?
  5. Are you a generalist or do you have specific areas of specialization?
  6. What types of clients do you serve?
  7. How do you prepare and deliver your financial planning service? Tell me about your process.
  8. What type of software do you use? What type of modeling do you do?
  9. Tell me about your investment philosophy.
  10. How are you compensated – commissions, fee-based, fee-offset, fee only?
  11. Do you have a minimum fee or account size?
  12. Here is a sample client profile [insert a client profile that interests you]. What type of service would you recommend for this client and how would you proceed.
  13. What is the one thing that distinguishes you and makes you better than other financial advisors?
  14. Financial Planning is a very broad field. What are your weaknesses and how do you mitigate them to best serve your clients?
  15. How do you measure success?
  16. Could I speak with one or more of your current clients as references?
  17. Are you a registered investment advisor? If so, may I have a copy of your disclosure document, form ADV part II?