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Choosing a Financial Adviser to help with Your Financial Planning

Updated on August 31, 2014

What to look for in a financial adviser

Many people want to plan for their future financially, but not all want to do it or don't feel qualified to do financial planning.  A great option is to get an adviser to help you get on a great track for your financial future. 

One way to find a great adviser is to ask them some basic questions initially, to find out if they are what you are looking for.  In this hub, I am sharing some great starter questions when you meet a new financial adviser to see if it is a good "fit." 

I would first ask them, "What is your background, education and expertise?"  Anyone can call themselves an adviser, and a good one will be the first to understand that you want someone with expertise in their field.  It would be great if they were even known in their field.  Do they work for a company, and can they tell you more about that as well?  Most people actually enjoy sharing their accomplishments in these regards, so ask them. 

Asking questions

You will want to ask them what kind of investments do they sell, and which ones have they sold the most? This can also give you a feel for where they are coming from and where they will likely steer you. Before you assume anything, ask more questions that come to mind. A good adviser won't mind your questions and welcome them. It is likely they work with one or two types of investments in particular, but some others will give a broad range of investments to work with. They will likely include bonds, stocks and mutual funds.

Do they have experience with others in similar situations as yourself? How about other with the same goals as your family? Some people like their advisers to have about 10 years of experience. This is great especially if you are new to investing, and they can show you the ropes and give the best recommendations for your situation.

Ask how they are paid. Some advisers get paid hourly for their services. They will work with flat hourly fees very likely, which can be great so you know what it will cost up front. Some other advisers may get paid on the commissions of what they are selling, whether services or products. Some are paid both hourly fees, and also some commissions.


Ask for explanations

As you are going over things with your adviser or potential adviser, ask if they will explain to you how each of the investments they are recommending will help to meet your financial goals.  You don't want someone that is annoyed with explaining things to you, or that isn't communicating the best with you in a way that you can understand.  It isn't anything personal, but you are likely making an investment here and its fair to know if they can meet your needs in regards to financial planning. 

Ask them if they will explain on how you can know if your investments are producing the desired results.  They should be more than happy to give you tips on this, and what to look out for in the future as well. 

These questions will help you get a feel for your new financial adviser or new potential adviser.  There may be many more things you can ask, but these are great springboards to other topics perhaps as well. 

Have you ever used a financial adviser before to help with your financial planning?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I really appreciate that Phoenix, glad you liked my photos!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      Great advice and wonderful photos!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Arthur, I appreciate your comment.

    • arthurchappell profile image

      arthurchappell 7 years ago from Manchester, England

      With so many ads on UK TV for financial advisors its good to see Hubs explaining how to sort out the best ones from the multitude of offers available

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Simone! I appreciate the comment very much.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great tips and advice indeed! I especially appreciate your advice to ask financial planners how they are paid - I have only just recently learned that a lot of financial planners are paid on commissions, which is certainly going to skew their advice, so it's great that you brought that up! It's not something I think the average person might assume @_@

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Pamela! Thank you very much :)

    • profile image

      Pamela99 7 years ago

      Great tips and advice. Rated up..