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Important Questions You Must Ask A Financial Advisor

George Sterling | Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

When selecting a financial manager for yourself, there are a set of critical questions you must ask if you plan on getting competent help with your finances. The biggest and most common mistake people make when hiring a financial manager is that they don’t even bother having a background check on an advisor. Remember, not all financial managers are experienced in the industry; some even pose as one whereas in reality they are nothing more than a salesperson working for a bigger company.

Here are some quick questions you should ask a financial advisor before you sign a deal with them:

  • How much is their experience with creating financial plans?
  • Have many long term clients has they worked with?
  • How many clients have they helped with reaching their goals?
  • How much training did they have as a financial training before becoming one?
  • Have they worked for any firms as a financial advisor?
  • Have they ever written any financial plans for their clients?
  • How long has they been working as a primary financial advisor for clients?

Remember, asking the following questions will help you determine the skill of the financial advisor and avoid getting your finances into the wrong hands. Never hesitate to ask these questions to the financial advisor you do not know. Additionally, a competent financial manager should also hold:

College Degree: The National Association of Personal Finance Advisors (NAPFA.org) has made holding a college degree a basic requirement for all financial advisors. The one without a college degree is not deemed a professional financial advisor in the eyes of NAPFA. A college degree is essential because it is assurance that the financial advisor has had enough training and knowledge of the field.

Experience: It is highly recommended that you work with a financial advisor that has at least 3 years of experience in the industry. Anything less than that is not recommended and may pose a threat to you. Most experienced financial advisors work directly with the clients instead of send them to a larger company. This is a key trait in obtaining a financial advisor.

CFP or CHFC: Your financial planner should have a designation of a Certified Financial Planner or Chartered Financial Consultant. These credentials are proof that the person is not posing as a financial advisor, but infact really is an experienced individual.

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