How to choose the Right Advisor
To choose an advisor you feel comfortable with—both personally and professionally—it’s smart to take your time, talk face-to-face, and ask the right questions. Questions to consider include:
1. How old are you?
If you are older, you may want a younger adviser who will outlive you. If you are young, you may want an older adviser who has been through difficult economic times.
2. What is your educational background?
Look for a Financial Planner, and professional money manager (CIM or CFA designation registered as a Portfolio Manager) to get the right advice for you.
3. How long have you been an Advisor?
Experience counts a lot in the financial field, especially the experience gained in periods with plunging markets.
4. Do you accept fiduciary responsibility?
This is a legal term meaning they have a fundamental obligation to provide suitable investment advice and always act in your best interests, not theirs.
5. Have you been sued or have any reported legal actions?
The Financial Planning Standards Council site reports recent disciplinary actions.
6. What is the smallest, average and largest portfolio you manage?
Some advisers only take high-net-worth clients. That may not be suitable for you.
7. Exactly what services do you perform?
Services could include retirement planning, manage investments, estate planning, tax planning, insurance, long-term-care advice, and so forth. Long term care planning early on is particularly crucial in building a solid retirement plan so money doesn't unexpectedly run out faster if and when the time comes.
8. Do you offer different levels of advice?
An important reason to consider turning to a professional Advisor for advice is lack of results from your current Advisor.
9. How often do you evaluate my situation and provide an up-to-date forecast?
A satisfactory answer is yearly.
10. Does your retirement forecasting include all aspects of long term care expenses, mainly out of pocket after government subsidization for your province?
If it doesn’t, you do not have a complete retirement plan.