Your first meeting with a prospective financial planner should be a free consultation -- a chance for you to ask questions about credentials and get a feeling for his or her style of communication. At a loss for what you should ask? Use the questions below as a guideline:
- What experience do you have?
- What are your qualifications?
- What licenses do you hold?
- Are you registered as an investment adviser?
- What services do you offer?
- What is your approach to financial planning?
- Will you be the only person working with me?
- How will I pay for your services?
- How much do you typically charge?
- Do you get additional compensation or financial incentives for selling particular products?
- Could anyone besides me benefit from your recommendations?
- Do you have an affiliation with a broker/dealer?
- Do you insist on managing client assets, or are you willing to give advice to clients who wish to maintain control over their own brokerage account(s)?
- Have you ever been publicly disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your professional career?
- Do you have a written client agreement?
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