Congratulations on scheduling your first meeting with a new financial advisor! This marks a crucial step towards achieving financial confidence and clarity. However, this isn’t just a casual conversation; it’s a pivotal discussion to determine if this professional is the right fit for you. To make the most of this meeting, it’s essential to come prepared with the right questions and a clear understanding of your goals.
Initiate with Clarity
Take a moment to reflect on your financial goals and the reasons behind seeking advice. Whether you’re focused on building retirement savings or planning for education expenses, having well-defined objectives will guide the conversation. It’s normal not to have everything figured out, which is precisely why you’re seeking professional guidance. Clearly articulate your need for a professional relationship, as this will likely be one of the first questions the advisor asks.
Conduct a FINRA Check
Before meeting with a financial advisor, perform due diligence by reviewing the BrokerCheck resource provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This tool reveals the advisor’s background, experience, and any disciplinary actions against them or their firm. A FINRA check ensures that the advisor is in good standing, adhering to industry standards and regulations. It’s a simple yet effective step to confirm the advisor’s credibility and legitimacy.
Explore their Digital Presence
In today’s digital age, a financial advisor’s online presence can be as informative as a face-to-face meeting. Take the time to explore their website, read articles they’ve written, and watch any videos they’ve produced. This content provides insight into their knowledge, expertise, and the type of advice they offer. It’s also an opportunity to assess whether their financial philosophies align with your personal values and goals.
Establish Your Criteria
Reflect on the qualities that matter most to you in a financial advisor, such as their experience, client communication style, or handling of similar financial situations. Knowing your criteria will aid in evaluating whether the advisor is the right fit for your financial needs.
Prepare Questions in Advance Compile a list of questions to uncover the advisor’s approach and suitability for your needs. Consider questions such as:
- “What does your typical client look like?”
- “What should I expect in terms of communication and collaboration with you?”
- “Can you share your professional background and experience?”
- “How many clients do you serve, and how personalized are your services?”
- “What is the cost structure for your services?”
- “What planning tools or resources do you use, and will I have access to them?”
- “Who comprises your team, and who will I directly work with?”
Trust Your Instincts
After the meeting, assess your feelings. Were all your questions answered satisfactorily? Did the advisor make you feel at ease? Trust your instincts; they are a powerful gauge of whether the advisor is someone with whom you can build a trusting relationship.
An ethical financial advisor understands that choosing their services is a significant decision that should not be rushed. Be cautious of any advisor who pressures you to make a decision on the spot. A genuine advisor will give you the space and time to consider your options.
By following these steps, you’re not only preparing for a meeting but laying the groundwork for a long-term partnership that aligns with your financial aspirations and personal values. Here’s to finding an advisor who can help you navigate your financial journey with confidence and trust.
OneAscent Financial Services, LLC (“OAFS”), d/b/a Provident Oak Financial, is a registered investment adviser with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. OAFS does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by OAFS or any unaffiliated third party. OAFS is neither an attorney nor accountant, and no portion of the presented content should be interpreted as legal, accounting, or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.