When I look at picking an advisor from the client’s standpoint and put myself in their shoes, I would ask and want to know much more. For example, does your potential advisor come highly recommended? In other words, has someone else referred them to you? This can easily be one of the biggest factors to consider. If a friend or colleague, whom you respect, has had a great experience with their advisor; they trust them, find them competent, reliable, professional, and know their best interests come first, then this should make a big impact in beginning your search. If an advisor hasn’t been referred to you, ask around, see what others are saying. Our firm cares deeply about our client’s interests and putting them first. We also know that if they are happy with us, they will tell others.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for a potential advisor:
1) What sort of experience do they have? Have they been in the business a while?
2) What are their credentials? Do they claim to be a financial planner? If so, they should be a CFP®.
3) Check out their registration with FINRA here:
5) Do they have a website? This could answer some of your preliminary questions, as well as those above, and give you a little insight into their firm.
6) Are they a local firm? And has the firm been around a while?
7) What’s their back office (staff) like? Are they qualified, experienced, friendly, & reliable?
8) What investment vehicles do they use? I.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, etc.
9) Have you seen their Form ADV? If not, ask for it. This will give you a lot of detail into how their practice is managed as well as their advisory fee structure.
This is not an exhaustive list of inquiries, but hopefully it will give you a good start in assessing if the relationship is right for you. As you can see, advisory fees are only part of the equation. You need to feel comfortable working with someone you know cares about you and your goals. Lastly, a good client/advisor relationship will center on trust. It’s the pinnacle of a long lasting successful relationship and should be of paramount consideration.
Securities offered through Dominion Investor Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.