10 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor for Peace of Mind

“The more you make your money work for you, the less you have to work for your money.”

                                                                                    ~ Idowu Koyenikan

A financial advisor is there to assist you in making informed decisions about your finances to achieve goals which provide monetary growth. They should be providing you with a realistic financial plan tailored to meet the needs of your specific portfolio.

Making the right money moves all the time can seem a little daunting when your financial portfolio expands. There are many options on the market as to where to place your money. It is wise to seek out a professional who has in depth financial knowledge to ensure that you make the right financial decisions.

Financial advisors may work independently, or they may be employed by a financial institution. Regardless of how they operate, the relationship that you have with them must be built on extreme trust. Below are 10 vital questions which you must ask your financial advisor. You must also be comfortable with the answers.

Experience and Specialization Related Questions

Question 1 – What are your limitations regarding your expertise?

One of the biggest red flags in any meeting with your financial advisor is when they promise to be an “expert in everything.” They could even blow off the question with a simple, “I have not covered that before, but I am sure we can sort something out.”

Your financial advisor will have limitations, these limitations in their abilities and financial background must be made known to you.

Question 2 – What experience do you have when working with a financial portfolio such as mine?

Every financial portfolio is different. Depending on the number of risks you are willing to take for monetary growth, you will have a high risk balanced or low risk portfolio. Some financial advisors thrive on working with high-risk portfolios. If they have no experience working with a balanced portfolio or low risk, then this may not be the financial advisor for you.

Question 3 – Do you have any clients, current or previous, who I may speak to?

A contactable reference is imperative. A good financial advisor will have a vast list of happy clients. It is also important that you do in fact contact them and hear what they have to say.

Question 4 – How many clients do you have at present?

Too many and too few are unsafe answers. It is important that the number of clients are manageable for your financial advisor as well as a good track record.

Question 5 – Are you a full-time financial advisor?

No one wants a financial advisor with a full-time day job in a completely different career. This needs to be their full-time career.

Fee Structures and Payment Related Questions

Question 6 – How does your fee structure work?

There are different ways in which financial advisors get paid. Some gain commission from a variety of products and others work only through a fee structure. While many institutions advise consumers to veer away from commission and fee based financial advisors, you must decide on the entire package of offerings as well as the expertise provided from your financial advisor.

Service-related Questions

Question 7 – Can you provide me with a list of all the services you offer?

It is important to have a full scope of everything that your financial advisor offers. Along with pricing, when it changes and by how much as well.

Question 8 – Do I have access to my financials at a moment’s request?

Transparent financials are very important. Usually, your financial advisor will provide you with a six-month print out and update however, these figures should also be available at a moment’s notice.

General Questions

Question 9 – Can you explain that in more detail for me please?

Career jargon happens across the board. It is no different with financial advisors.  It can be easy to get lost or confused by big terms. If you don’t understand, simply ask for a detailed explanation on the process. If your financial advisor refuses to explain, or gets irritated, perhaps it’s time to find another one.

Question 10 – What happens if I need to withdraw from any given product?

It is easy to receive information about where to place your money, however, it should be just as important to understand the fees and time periods involved if you wish to cash in investments or move them around.

Financial advisors have a responsibility to look after your money, but with that you need terms and conditions. It is beneficial to have a trustworthy person who is looking out for your financial wellbeing, but you need to ask the right questions and ensure that you do not become too comfortable and risk losing everything. Choose your financial advisor wisely.

If you don’t have a financial advisor yet and want to learn about various money moves to increase your wealth, watch these great videos now:

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For the last 14 years, Debt Rescue has been at the frontlines assisting over-indebted South Africans. Debt Rescue has managed to help thousands of consumers achieve financial freedom through the debt review process. Contact us now to see how you too can manage your debt affordably.

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