05 Aug The 5 Most Important Questions to Ask Your Financial Planner
It’s vitally important for you to know that your financial planner is a trustworthy professional who places your interests first, and works with you to help you build a vibrant financial plan and future.
While your financial planner should take the time to get to know you — after all, you deserve a totally personalized financial plan to suit your needs! — you should also take the time to get to know your planner.
To help you figure out whether you’re a good fit, here are some key questions to ask.
1. What’s your approach to financial planning?
Be confident that your advisor will guide you through a customized process that helps you realize your financial goals — like we do here at Vision Financial! A cookie-cutter approach just won’t cut it, so don’t hesitate to ask this question and see if their approach lines up with your needs.
2. What services do you offer?
Depending on their qualifications, certificates, and the organization they work for, financial planners offer a variety of services. What services does your planner offer? Here’s an idea of some of the types of services to look for, as they will complement your various financial planning needs.
3. Besides me, who benefits from the recommendations you make?
This may seem like an odd question, but the answer is an important one!
Here at Vision Financial, our planners are all Certified Financial Planners (CFP®), governed by a code of ethics that requires a yearly attestation stating that your interests will always come first.
That’s why it’s important to ask your planner — or prospective planner — if they have a written obligation to put your interests first. And if they don’t? It may be a signal to look elsewhere.
4. How much will it cost?
Ask your financial planner to explain what cost you can expect for the services they offer and for any products you purchase. CFPs are required to have transparency in disclosure of client cost and advisor compensation, so if you’d like to understand how everything gets broken down, feel free to ask.
5. What are your qualifications and experience?
Don’t be shy to ask whether your financial planner is certified — they should be! Here in Canada, the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) certifies financial planners, so look for a CFP designation. It is the most widely recognized financial planning designation, and holds all of its certified planners to a high degree of professional oversight.
What experience does your planner have, and what are the guiding principles of their current practice? This is helpful to know so you can rest assured that they’re qualified to help you with the full scope of your financial needs.
Fred Morris, CFP | Sheldon Morris, CFP | Matthew Cole, CFP
Professional Wealth Advisors