The initial meeting with a new financial planner is important, but the follow-up meeting may be even more crucial. This second meeting is a time to test the first impression chemistry and dig a bit deeper. They’ll begin to assess your situation and offer up recommendations. At which point, you can choose whether or not you move forward with the proposed plan.
It may sound simple, but choosing a financial planner is, although incredibly important, no easy task. Here are 4 great questions to ask your prospective financial planner to make sure you’re working with the right person.
Can You Show Me A Sample Plan?
Start with the basics. Seeing a sample of their work will be the best way for you to understand what a financial planner does on a macro level, in addition to seeing how your prospective planner thinks and presents their ideas. Here you should see an example of a thorough understanding of how the market works and the recognition that with different people, come different goals, and different approaches to financial success. It will be immediately clear to you if this is the right person to be handling your money.
What Happens if the Economy Crashes?
In all honesty, you shouldn’t have to ask this question. They should be making it obvious that they’re setting you up within the market, not just timing it out. One of the most important benefits of hiring a financial planner is the peace of mind that comes with it. They should reduce the panic and stress of short term market issues––although they should be able to explain exactly how they will handle your money during a volatile time––because they’ve instilled a solid long term plan meant to outperform short term market problems.
What is the Hiring Process?
This should be saved for later in your interview process when you’re feeling good about the person. It’s important, because if you’re shopping with an independent, you need to protect yourself from a shady business person. There should be a well thought out onboarding process for adding you as a client. Part 2 to this question pertains to a larger firm: Will I be working with you or with others? A very straightforward question that is critical, as some people work in teams, some point-people switch off and sometimes it’s a very personal one on one relationship. Find out what your preference is and then make sure your prospective planner is aligned with your wants.
What Are Your Fees and My All-In Costs?
So, you’re feeling good about your financial planner thus far, but it’s time to get down to brass tacks. In addition to advisor fees, there are many hidden, underlying investment expenses. These can be broken down differently, depending on who you’re dealing with. But the bottomline is, you need to know exactly what the bottomline is going to be, when working with this advisor.
Hiring a financial planner can be as difficult or easy as you’d like. Come prepared with questions, and have your own set of goals ready for discussion. A worthy planner will craft a strategy around your financial aspirations and seamlessly demonstrate their capabilities and expertise.