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Top Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

Updated: May 10

I was recently quoted in UpJourney discussing top questions to ask a financial advisor before hiring them. The article tabulated responses from a large number of advisors. I have condensed it down to my view of the top three questions to ask a financial advisor before hiring them.


Top questions to ask financial advisor

1) What designations do you hold and what did it take to obtain them?


There is no shortage of alphabet soup when it comes to financial and investment designations. However, each designation is far from created equal. Some designations can take years to obtain while others can be completed in a weekend. Ask what designations the advisor holds and what was involved to earn them. Be prepared on your end to do a little of research of your own.


In my view, the big three designations are the CFP® for financial advising, the CFA for investment management, and the CPA for tax preparation.


2) What conflicts of interest might you have?


Inquiring about any conflicts of interest are incredibly important questions to ask. There are no requirements for someone to be able to call themselves a "financial advisor". As such, how that individual works with clients and how they get compensated is of critical concern. For example, advisors who charge fees for a financial plan but also receive additional compensation for purchases made based on their recommendations may have a conflict in preparing an objective plan.


3) What are typical items currently on client meeting agendas?


This question should give you a good sense of how the advisor works with clients. The purpose is to determine if they are a good match for the areas you are seeking advice in. Are they working with clients to stay on track towards their goals as well as monitoring what you have and have not accomplished.


GuidePoint Financial Planning - Northern Va Financial Planning


Ryan Phillips, CFP® is the founder of GuidePoint Financial Planning. He is passionate about helping busy families plan, save, and invest for their financial future. Contact him today if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of working with a fee-only (no-commission) financial planner.



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