experience do you have? Find out
how long the adviser has been in practice
and the companies he or she has been
associated with. Choose an adviser
with a minimum of 3 years experience.
are your qualifications? The
planner" is used by a lot of
people. Ask the planner what qualifies
him/her to offer financial advice.
Consider whether the planner received
a designation or recognition from
a professional organization.
services do you offer? Some
planners offer advice on a lot of topics: like
stocks and insurance. Some dont sell
anything; others receive a commission on
whatever they sell you.
is your approach to financial planning? Ask
about the type of clients and
financial situations the planner deals
with. Some planners look at the entire
picture, other focus on trouble areas.
Be sure the planner meets your style,
whether aggressive or conservative.
you be the only person working with
me? Watch for the
bait and switch. Find out
if the planner is going to
do the work himself, or handoff to a junior
will I pay for your services? Planners
are paid in different ways. Know how
your planner makes a living since it
could influence the advice given. Fee
only planners dont receive commissions and most base their
services on an hourly rate. The majority of
planners receive commissions on what
much do you typically charge? You
wouldnt let a mechanic work on your car without
an estimate; why let a financial planner? An estimate
should include a breakdown on the fees and commissions
you will be charged and how
they will be charged.
anyone besides me benefit from
your recommendations? Ask
for a written disclosure
of any conflicts of interest
the planner may have. A planner
who sells insurance gets a commission.
Youll want to know that before
he recommends a policy for you.
you ever been disciplined by a governmental
or regulatory agency? If
you dont get a copy of the planner's ADV
registration, call us. (907)
I have it in writing? Youre
entitled to a written agreement covering all
of this. Get it or leave.