Starting Off on the Right Financial Foot: 5 Questions When Starting with a Financial Advisor, Ep #154

At the start of every year, people are more motivated to get off on the right financial foot. This might mean contacting a financial advisor for the first time.

So we put together a list of 5 questions we hear from those looking to hire a financial advisor.

If you are considering working with a financial advisor this year, you may want to use these questions to help you understand how the financial advising process works so that you can feel comfortable choosing the right advisor for you. Listen in to hear the most frequently asked questions and our answers.

Is your financial advisor a fiduciary?

Thankfully, the word fiduciary has gotten more publicity lately, so more people understand what it means. A fiduciary is a financial advisor that puts their clients’ best interests first. It is important to ensure that your advisor is a fiduciary so that you know that they will put your well-being ahead of the myriad conflicts of interests that can arise in this industry.

How often will you review my situation?

The first question most clients have is how often we will review their finances. This usually depends on the client’s situation, but we usually review a specific financial area for every client each quarter. The specific areas that we focus on regularly are taxes, estate documents and financial plans, and of course, portfolios.

We also have an automated system that checks each client’s portfolio every day. Our clients feel comfortable with these automated daily inspections. Our Client Center is another way that Financial Symmetry clients can assess their portfolios at their convenience.

When and how is your fee charged?

At Financial Symmetry, we are fee-only financial advisors and completely open about what we charge. All of our fee information is available on our website. Our wealth management clients are charged quarterly whereas other clients choose to work on an hourly basis. Make sure you understand the fee structure of any financial advisor that you choose to work with.

How often will we meet?

Typically, in-person client meetings are held once a year, but of course, Covid changed everything. Communication can be had through phone calls, emails, or video conferencing. The frequency of meetings depends on the complexity of the situation.

Who is my primary point of contact?

Every advising firm has a different setup and who you meet with initially may not end up being your primary source of information that you work with. At Financial Symmetry, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a team of 2 advisors plus one other staff member. Listen in to hear why we work this way.

If you are thinking of hiring a financial advisor, make sure to add these 5 questions to your list of questions.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:27] Are you a fiduciary?
  • [2:38] How often do you review my financial situation?
  • [5:50] When and how is the fee charged?
  • [9:10] How often will we meet?
  • [10:58] Can I contact you if I have questions?
  • [13:55] Who is my primary point of contact?

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