A financial advisor at any age is, well, advisable. But when you’re creeping toward retirement, it’s more important than ever. But there are some important questions to ask a financial advisor if you want to pick the right one.

Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

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From the time you started earning money, you’ve probably managed it yourself, but now you want to venture out into new areas. Or maybe you just want to secure your financial future, and you’re not sure of the best way to go about it. So, you bring in the big guns — a pro.

That’s a smart move, but not all financial advisors are created equal, and since they’ll be handling your money — thereby your future — there are some specific questions to ask a financial advisor before you hire one.

Here are the top six questions you have to ask.


Why did your last two clients stop working with you?

The best indicator of future performance is by looking at the past. After all, that’s a big part of investing. But in this case, you want to see how this financial advisor works with his clients.

Asking why their last two clients stopped working with them might be very telling. If the advisor lost two clients recently because communication lacked, then this is probably not somebody you want to work with.

If they’re reluctant to give you this information, that’s also very telling. You need to know what kind of business the financial advisor is running and if they’ll be a good fit for you.


What do you love about being a financial advisor?

You want a financial advisor who loves what they do. If they love coming to work every day and making the most out of the financial decisions they’re making for you, that’s what you want.

What do they love about it? Is it that they love helping people? How did they get into this financial advisor game? Have them tell you their story and read their cues. You can tell just by listening to them if their really enthusiastic or just pretending to be.


What is your philosophy on investing?

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Third on the list of questions to ask a financial advisor is about their philosophy on investing. Are they bold or timid? Do they keep investing when the market’s bad, or do they only invest when it’s good?

Remember, you’re not 20 anymore, and your strategy needs to match your age. Pay attention to their views on investing and their diversification methods. Their headspace should be in diversification and consistent investing. You want someone with a long-term strategy for your finances.

Anyone who advises you to invest in risky single stocks instead of mutual funds is someone you don’t want working for you.


How do you get paid?

Of course, you want to pay for their services, but where does that money come from? Maybe they work on a flat fee or an hourly rate. Or maybe they make their cut based on the performance of your investments.

What you’re really looking for here is how they answer your question. Are they clear about their fees or evasive? You want someone who is clear and upfront about their fees. If they are, then you can decide if you think the fees are fair.


What services do you offer?

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You want a financial advisor who understands your goals. Do they simply invest your money and report on how it’s doing? Or do they also rebalance your portfolio when need be? Do they keep your whole financial picture in mind, including taxes, insurance, and other investments you have?

You want someone who can help you with your whole picture so that you’re entirely financially stable and have a grasp on everything that entails.


What happens to my portfolio if you leave the company?

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So, you love this financial advisor, and you’re in it for the long haul, but life happens. What happens to your portfolio if this advisor leaves the company or this profession altogether?

No matter the answer to this question, you’re looking for a confident plan for your portfolio. And you need to decide if you’re comfortable with the answer he provides.

There Are No Dumb Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

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These questions might be the jumping board to more questions — ask them. This is your money and your future, so ask all the questions you need to and listen carefully to the answers. In fact, write them down.

And if you do decide to hire this financial advisor after your interview, and they hand you a contract to sign, don’t sign it right then and there.

Take your time to read the contract and show it to an attorney. You want to know what you’re signing and if your best interests are reflected throughout.

And keep asking questions even after you hire someone. After all, you want to make sure you stay on track, and communication is key.

Have you interviewed any financial advisors yet? What are your top questions to ask a financial advisor? Let us know in the comments!

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