Where Can I get help when deciding upon a financial advisor at retirement?

Where Can I get help when deciding upon a financial advisor at retirement?

April 07, 2019

Where Can I get help when deciding upon a financial advisor at retirement?

Google, of course, has  information available that is massive and is like” finding a needle in a haystack.”  But you may be asking yourself, “Who is going to be a good fit for me, and how will I know” 

You may also be asking yourself “Am I looking for a Financial Advisor, Financial Planner, Registered Investment Advisor, and a dozen more names I’m not sure about?”   When searching Google you might find that the Certified Financial Planner is the highest standard of financial planning expertise where you will receive ethical advice and objective guidance.



What do I ask and what to look for when interviewing this professional 

 There are ten questions you can ask right from the CFP Board page  http://www.letsmakeaplan.org/blog/view/lets-make-a-plan-blogs/ten-questions-to-ask-your-cfp-professional

It’s important to be aware that a Registered Investment Advisor is required to give you a form ADV 2A & 2B that will provide beneficial information. Read it as it will give you an insight to your Investment Advisor. 

10 Questions to ask a Registered Investment Advisor or Financial Advisor  

  1. What experience do you have? 

Ask for a brief description of the financial planner’s work experience and how it relates to their current practice. CFP® professionals must have a minimum of two years professional experience related to financial planning. You may be seeking an advisor with decades of experience, like our firm, if so we would be glad to discuss your financial challenges - please request a consultation.

    2. What are your qualifications?

 Ask about the credentials your planner holds, and learn how they stay up to date with current changes and developments in the financial planning field. CFP® professionals expand their knowledge and stay informed through mandatory continuing education courses.

    3. What financial planning services do you offer? 

Credentials, licenses, and areas of expertise are all factors that determine the services a financial planner can offer. Generally, financial planners cannot sell insurance or securities products, such as mutual funds or stocks, without proper licenses. And they cannot give investment advice unless registered with state or federal regulatory bodies.

    4. What is your approach to financial planning? 

Make sure the planner's investing philosophy isn't too cautious or overly aggressive for your needs. Learn how they will carry out recommendations or refer tasks to others.

    5.  What types of clients do you typically work with? 

Some financial planners prefer to work with clients whose assets fall within a particular range, so it's important to make sure the planner is a good fit for your individual financial situation. Keep in mind that some planners require you to have a certain net worth before offering services. When you search for a CFP® professional on this site, you can specify your investable asset range to find a financial planner whose services best match your needs. 

  1. Will you be the only financial planner working with me? 

Some financial planners work with their clients directly, and others have a team of people that work with them. Ask who will handle your account, meet them and ask whether the planner works with professionals outside their own practice, such as attorneys, insurance agents or tax specialists. If yes, get a list of their names to check on their backgrounds. 

  1. How will I pay for your financial planning services? 

Planners can be paid in several ways: through fees, commissions or a combination of both. As part of your written agreement, your financial planner should make it clear how they will be paid for the services to be provided. 

  1. How much do you typically charge? 

Although what you pay will depend on your particular needs, the planner should be able to provide you with an estimate of possible costs based on the work to be performed. Costs should include the planner's hourly rates or flat fees, or the percentage of commission received on products you may purchase. 

  1. Do others stand to gain from the financial advice you give me? 

Ask the planner to provide you with a description of his conflicts of interest in writing. For example, financial planners who sell insurance policies, securities or mutual funds may have a business relationship with the companies that provide these financial products. CFP® professionals agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct and have an ethical obligation to put your interest first when delivering financial planning advice and services. 

  1. Have you ever been disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your career? 

CFP Board, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and your state insurance and securities departments each keep records on the disciplinary history of financial planners and advisors. Ask which organizations the planner is regulated by and contact these groups to conduct a background check. CFP® professionals are subject to disciplinary action if they violate the CFP Board's standards. 

We hope you find these questions helpful in your search for a financial advisor!