So far this year, I have had 149 prospective client meetings and almost no one knows what to ask. Here’s what you need to ask.
Start with these four things to make sure you get the most from this conversation:
First, ask how long they’ve been practicing as an advisor. Have they managed relationships through recessions or are they just starting out?
Second, you should also ask them about their credentials. Everyone is now a “fiduciary” but do they have the designations to back that up? CFPs, for example, are required to provide fiduciary advice whereas many advisors are simply required to give you suitable advice. There’s a big difference.
Third, ask about their planning process and what to expect as a client. How often will you meet upfront and what do those meetings look like? Are you meeting quarterly? Semi-annually? Is this the person you will be working with long-term?
Lastly, you NEED to ask how they are compensated. There are myriad ways we, as advisors, are paid and you need to know what that looks like.
There is no right answer here. You may want to work with a younger advisor who is eager to earn your business or you might want to pay someone to manage your investments for a fee.
It’s not up to us as advisors to tell you what will be best for you. It’s up to us to lay the cards out on the table and let you decide.
If it helps, here’s a whitepaper I put together with some more information on this subject (totally free and no email necessary!)