What to Look for in a Financial Advisor
We feel it is important to ask your Financial Advisors the right questions before hiring them to guide your financial future. Here are some must ask questions and our answers in bold.
1. Are you a fiduciary, and will you state that in writing?
As independent financial advisors, our firm remains free to act in your best interest and in a fiduciary capacity.
2. What is your investment philosophy?
We seek to provide our clients with the best possible return after determining their risk tolerance and investment objectives. We create customized asset allocations based on each individual’s personal situation and investment goals. We interpret economic data and perform fundamental analysis to find opportunities or identify risks in certain asset classes. We will make tactical allocation shifts based on our research.
3. How do you report investment performance?
Clients will receive monthly statements that show gains/losses. Clients can also see their performance updated daily via online account access or request a performance report at any time. We meet with our clients no less than three times annually to review performance.
4. Will you itemize all your fees and expenses in writing?
Yes, please ask for our fee schedule.
5. Are your fees negotiable?
Yes. Fees can be negotiated under certain circumstances such as account size and investment objectives.
6. Do you charge additional fees for financial planning services?
No. Access to all of our financial planning resources and professionals is included in your advisory fee.
7. Do you earn fees as adviser to a private fund or other investments that you may recommend to clients?
8. Do you pay referral fees to generate new clients?
9. Do you earn fees for referring clients to specialists like estate attorneys or insurance agents?
No. We have the capabilities to handle estate planning, tax preparation and insurance needs in house.
10. Can you tell me about your conflicts of interest orally and in writing?
Yes. As independent financial advisors, our firm remains free to act in your best interest and to help you follow the best course of action to meet your financial goals. We can make recommendations to you and without any pressure to promote a particular product or strategy.
11. Do you focus solely on investment management, or do you advise on taxes, estates and retirement, budgeting and debt management, and insurance?
We have a comprehensive financial planning team that can assist in all of the above areas. See our services overview.
12. Do you believe you can beat the market?
No. Our clients often have goals that are more personal than “beating the market.” We work to create and manage efficient asset allocations that seek to give our client’s the best chance of achieving their goals.
13. How often do you trade?
The frequency of trades varies depending on each client’s personal goals and investment objectives as well as our economic data and market analysis. Each portfolio is custom to the client.
14. Do you believe in technical analysis or market timing?
We use technical analysis as a part of deciphering good entry points for specific funds/ETFs/stocks when considering an asset allocation change. We do not believe in day trading or market timing.
15. Which professional credentials do you have?
Our team has multiple credentials in the investment, tax, insurance, and legal fields including CFP, CAS, CFS, AAMS, CMFC, CTLC, LTCP, EA, ESQ.
16. Do you participate in any sales contests or award programs creating incentives to favor particular vendors?
17. Who manages your money?