Day One With Your Financial Advisor
Life moves on but it is never the same. It is always changing, that is why it is important to have a financial plan that moves with you. For that financial plan, apparently you will need a financial adviser. But before meeting with one for the first time, it will be a good idea to get a basic understanding of the financial advisor and what to expect in the first meeting.
Today, in this blog I will give you some useful tips on what to do before and in your first meeting with your financial advisor and how to evaluate whether the adviser is the best choice for you or not.
You can never give correct directions to a friend if you don’t know from which direction they are coming from. Similarly, your financial advisor cannot help you with your financial plan until he/she knows your starting point, where you are currently, how you reached there, and where you want to go!! They will need you to paint a picture of your past and current financial situation as well as your values about money and your vision for your future. For this reason before your first consultation, you should be prepared and gather information about:
- Statement of your bank accounts.
- Assets you own. Your home, car, or other property.
- Your debts and loans. (Credit card debts, personal loans, student loans, etc.)
- Your income and monthly expenses.
- Any insurance policies you have bought. (Life insurance, auto insurance, etc.)
- Your current investments.
- Your financial weaknesses.
- A list of your financial goals and concerns.
It will be good if you make digital copies and organize your financial documents. You can save them in your laptop and take it with you to the meeting. This way you can pull it up easily. Your financial planner will appreciate that. The more details you can provide, your financial advisor will have a clear understanding about your financial situation. It is similar to consulting a new doctor. Rather than your physical health, you are looking for someone to improve your financial health. After all, this is about your financial health.
The Right Fit
Several advisors offer a free first meeting, so take your time to find someone you are comfortable with, someone you can trust and develop a good relationship with him/her from the start because that “someone” will be your close partner in accomplishing your goals and building a security net for your future. Also, you should also feel no pressure or obligation in asking as many questions as you’d like:
- What are their qualifications?
- What courses, degrees, and designations within the financial service industry they have taken?
- How many years of experience they have in the financial industry?
- Introduction to their firm.
- What are their areas of expertise?
- Are they a good fit for you and why?
These all are important questions for building a friendly relationship of trust with your advisor, which is the key for achieving your financial goals and dreams so just ask!
Asking questions is essential before choosing the person whom you will trust with your hard earned money. Don’t worry; any good advisor will welcome the questions. Here are some important questions to get you started:
- How much do they charge?
- How are they paid?
- Are they fiduciary?
- How important is client service to them?
- What type of clients do the deal with?
- Do they work alone or is there a team behind them?
- What services they offer to their clients?
- Do they have a customized plan for meeting their clients?
- What is there investment policy?
A good advisor will be proficient; service oriented and will gladly give satisfactory answers to all of your questions.
The Red Flag
The following things should raise a red flag for you if:
- The advisor focuses too heavily on their past investment performance. If they brag, spend a lot of time talking about how well their investment choices performed, this is a red flag.
- Forces you to sign documents which you do not understand or you have not read.
- Spends less time listening to your questions or what you want.
- You feel intimidated by your advisor and you are troubled or uncomfortable asking for clarifications.
Being prepared reflects upon the level of commitment to your financial health and safety net. Knowing the right questions to ask in your first meeting with the adviser helps you ensure that you are making the right choice. Do a bit of homework with the help of this blog and walk in the meeting room with confidence. Good luck!!!