#BadassBudgeting Tip of the Day: How to Choose the Best Financial Advisor?
Have you ever interviewed the person managing your finances? Have you ever considered it?
On average, people have a years-long relationship with their financial advisor and this same financial advisor will likely go through life changes and life goals with you, your partner and family. Best to make sure that this relationship is a fit!
Here I recommend why you should interview your financial advisor and what questions to ask them.
How long have you been in financial advising for? This is important to find out how much experience your financial advisor has. The most common complaint I get with clients is that their financial advisor keeps changing and that there is no consistency with who is helping them with their finances. This is a problem, because the more your financial advisor changes, the more you have to re-introduce yourselves, get to know each other and establish whether the relationship works or not.
What credentials do you currently have in your field? This helps to find out whether your financial advisor is adequately trained to advise you. In Canada, do they have their Mutual Funds License? How long have they been practicing Mutual Funds for? Do they have a degree in the field they are working in? This will help distinguish those who are serious about their careers from those who just haphazardly ended up in the field of finance and are now in the position of potentially managing others (including potentially your) money. Don't let this be you.
How long have you been working for this company? At the very least, this can tell you how comfortable your advisor is with the systems in their company. Do they know what they're doing? Can they help you when shit hits the fan and you need a problem solved with your banking? And/or are they resourceful and can they get the answers you need for you?
What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most? This will tell you what area of finance they enjoy the most which may or may not be a match for you. Are you specifically looking for someone who will be great with investing and investing knowledge? Are you in the market for a mortgage? Ensure you pair up with the advisor that is the expert in their field. And the only way to do this is to interview your advisors to make sure they are the right fit for your needs. This isn't selfish, this is savvy.
What can I expect by having a working relationship with you? If the advisor you're interviewing is self-aware, in which case they are in the business of managing others' money so they should have a high level of self-awareness... The advisor should be able to tell you what it would be like working with them. Do they get back to emails and calls within the day? Do you have to chase them down to get a reply? Can you get the help with your finances that you need when you need it? Will they prioritize you as a client? These are all important questions to ask to find out whether the relationship with this advisor will work or not? Not enjoying the responses to your questions? Have the courage to interview the next advisor at the bank (or at a different bank altogether) until you find the right one for you. In this case, you may likely find a tenured financial advisor who ticks off all your boxes. This is the start of a great working relationship where you can actively work on your personalized goals with your advisor and ensure your financial goals are being achieved in the short and long term with credible advice.