As a business owner, you know that the advisors you hire can make or break your hard work. You want someone who is both technically competent, someone who understands you, and someone who is a pleasure to work with.
How can you make sure a potential financial planner is the right fit for you?
Start off with the basics. The goal is to come out of a consultation with a good understanding of what they offer. Here’s what I would ask:
Who do you typically work with?
You want someone who works with people like you. If you are a major outlier on their client list, the chances are they can’t serve you as well as they serve the majority of their clients.
What do you think you do best for clients?
This tells you a lot about their approach to financial planning. Does what you want align with what they are offering?
What does the first year of working together look like?
You want to make sure you are on the same page about what topics they cover and the time commitment involved for both of you. Do they offer a long term relationship or a one time plan?
What does it look like after that?
It’s key to understand exactly the level of service your financial planner will provide. Will they meet once a year? Will they meet more than that? What services do they plan to provide outside of the time you are in a meeting together?
Being on the same page – and making sure it’s the level of service you want – is a key part of a successful relationship.
How do you get paid?
Financial advisors can get paid in a myriad of ways, and it isn’t always clear who is providing them compensation. Understand if they are being paid on commission, being paid only by client fees, or a mixture of both.
Regardless of how they get paid, the advisor should be upfront and clear about how they get compensated. If they say they are doing it for free, I’d steer clear. You want both you and the advisor to be transparent and in it for the long haul.
What’s the fee?
You need to understand the fee and it needs to work for you and your budget.
These questions will help you understand how they work, what to expect, and what they see as their strengths. You’ll want to make sure that they can help you with the goals you are looking to accomplish. Don’t be shy about talking to them about your expectations and needs so you can determine whether you are a good fit to work together!
After the Initial Consultation
After your initial consultation with your potential financial planner, it’s time to do some reflection. On the most basic level, consider if you like them. Was it easy to talk to them? Do you think they can help? Does their offer work for you? Remember, if you don’t get good vibes, it’s okay not to work with them!
How do you get the most out of your relationship with your financial planner?
You’ve had the consultations, found a financial planner who is a great fit, and started working together. How do you get the most out of this relationship?
I encourage clients to share their thoughts and feelings – and to speak up when they don’t understand something. As a financial advisor, if I’m to help you build wealth and craft the life you dream of, I need to understand your priorities and your preferences.
Are you actively looking for a financial planner?
I offer free 1:1 consultations so we can be sure we are a great fit to work together! Sign up at www.aligningwealth.com/contact.