We are coming up on the time of year where people begin to evaluate their relationships and potentially consider alternatives. Before you engage a new advisor consider using these 6 questions in your evaluation process.
1. What do you do?
It is a simple question but not all advisors do the same thing for clients. Some are stock brokers, some are fiduciaries and planners. Some focus on selling insurance. You need to make sure that the person you choose to work with fits your short and long term needs.
2. Why do you do it?
Everyone is in this profession for different reasons. In my view you should consider finding someone that is passionate about this profession and sees it as such. People that are doing this for a living don’t generally last long in this industry. You may be able to tell a lot about an advisor from their answer to this question.
3. How do you do it?
Financial and investment planning is not a one size fits all profession. Every advisor has a slightly different way they do things. It is important to find one that you can trust and consistently delivers on what they promise. This is not an easy task but if you understand how they work you will be able to better discern if they can deliver what you need.
4. Who have you done it for?
Every client is different but there are certainly similarities in the needs of different professions. For example if you are a business owner and the advisor you work with primarily works with retirees then it probably is not a good fit. Put another way don’t be the outlier in an advisors client book.
5. What makes you different?
This question is where you will likely be able to tell if your advisor is a professional that will be able to help you work towards your goals. In my opinion many advisors have no idea what makes them different from every other financial services provider on the street. Do you know what makes your current advisor different? Do they know?
6. Why should I do business with you?
Fit is the most important part of any financial relationship. If you aren’t compatible it may be less likely to work towards a successful outcome. The advisor should also be honest with you if it is not truly a fit. It is a two-way street. My process is not appropriate for everyone. I look to build long term relationships with my clients and have had to turn away relationships because I knew it would be a frustrating experience for both of us.
So as you reflect on your financial relationships consider asking yourself these 6 questions. Then ask your current or prospective advisor. If they don’t match keep looking until you find the right advisor for you.
If you are curious about my answers to these questions call the office and schedule a time to meet with me. I am currently taking new clients and enjoy sharing my process with prospective clients.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.