Are you considering hiring a financial advisor or planner? Here are some practical tips as you begin to create a relationship with a financial advisor.

Practical questions to ask before hiring a financial advisor

It’s important to ask questions while seeking to hire a financial advisor. Below are a handful of questions you can ask to help you make an informed decision when choosing an advisor:

  • What services do you provide?
  • What can I expect from you?
  • How often will we meet?
  • How are you compensated?
  • When will you contact me?
  • How often do we review my portfolio and its performance?
  • How often do we review the progress toward achieving my goals?

When to contact a financial advisor

Knowing the appropriate times to contact your financial advisor or planner is important. You’d be surprised how often clients experience a financial, personal, or life change and don’t think to contact their financial advisors. It’s a good idea to get in touch with an advisor especially under the following circumstances:

Personal or life changes, such as:

  • Marriage.
  • Divorce.
  • Birth or death in the family.
  • Lawsuit.

Business changes

  • Purchase or sale of a business.
  • Other business related or large-flow expense.

Financial changes

  • Inheritance.
  • Significant debt repayment that may free up cash.
  • Work-related bonus or stock options.
  • Buying or selling a primary residence, vacation or rental property.

Estate planning issues

  • Long-term care.
  • Asset transfer.
  • Generational planning.
  • Estate taxes.
  • Charitable giving.
  • Business succession.

Be a well-prepared client

The financial advisor-client relationship can be similar to the doctor-patient relationship. Success in both is based on mutual respect, honesty, and trust.

Before you meet with an advisor, think carefully about the nature of the discussion and what you wish to accomplish. Prepare any questions you have in advance. During the meeting, take notes and ask questions until you are comfortable with a concept or suggestion. However, don’t feel compelled to reach decisions right away. We encourage you to discuss your questions and concerns with and advisor before making a decision.

Remember, an advisor’s job is to look out for your best interests and help you achieve your financial goals. Establishing a mutually open, honest relationship is an important step in realizing that goals.