To say that investing is intimidating is an understatement. That’s why we recommend you work with an investing pro. You’ll save time and money, and your advisor will encourage you to stay invested for the long-term.
Since this person will be so important to your financial life, feel free to be picky. We’ve put together a short list of questions to get you started in your first meeting with potential investment advisors.
What type of experience do you have?
The financial industry does not impose regulations on advisors in order for them to be recognized as professionals, so you’ll need to pay attention to this answer. You want a seasoned advisor, someone who has seen the ups and downs of the market. Experience in banking or as a CPA is not the same.
What’s your overall investing philosophy?
You want an advisor who believes in investing for the long-term, diversification and mutual funds with a long history of success. An advisor who recommends a portfolio of single stocks or other risky investments isn’t a good fit.
The most important thing to remember is that your avisor does not make decisions for you. You should feel comfortable that your advisor has the heart of a teacher and will take the time to teach you how to make smart decisions that are focused on your needs and goals.
How are you paid?
Your advisor is paid any number of ways, so what you’re looking for is an honest answer. Your advisor should be willing to explain all fees and expenses associated with the investments he or she recommends. Don’t settle for anything less.
Dave prefers a commission-based advisor and funds. Over the lifetime of an investment, a commission-based fund will cost the least.
Hiring an investment advisor is a wise decision. But don’t stop there. Make sure you’re comfortable with your advisor’s qualifications, philosophy and payment arrangements.