This article first appeared on fundMyLife, the platform that connects financial planning questions to the right advisers.
If you had to pick someone to handle your finances, how would you assess whoever who comes your way? It’s tough, isn’t it? After all, you’d have to be sure this person is both competent and is in this for the long haul together with you.
In this article, fundMyLife shares several questions that you can ask a potential adviser, to pick the right financial adviser. While it may not be 100% fool-proof, these questions will give you better insight into the potential adviser.
# 1 “How long have you been in the business?”
The financial planning industry is notoriously competitive, and the turnover rate is high. As such, it’s important to determine whether the adviser you’re engaging intends to stay in the long run. The worst thing that can happen is when you want to file for insurance claims but your original adviser is nowhere to be found – leaving you in the dark. Does it mean all young advisers will quit on you? We’re not saying that, but an adviser of many years’ experience is definitely a better bet than someone who just finished his/her training and wants you to give him/her a chance to do your finances.
There are advantages and disadvantages of engaging a financial adviser who has been in the business for long. For one, an experienced adviser who is in the industry for a long time is not likely to quit any time soon. On top of that, an experienced adviser has probably met plenty of people with a profile similar to yours, making it easier to advise. On the other hand, there’s the age gap to consider and if the age gap is too large you two won’t “click”, or connect on an emotional level. Of course, if you don’t care about that then you can keep it strictly business-like and not discuss shared interests.
# 2 “Can you tell me why did you recommended this plan to me?”
On top of advising you on how you should do your finances, your potential financial adviser should also be educating you on their recommendations. This is so that you, the client, will have complete understanding of what you’re spending your money on monthly. Communication should be clear and transparent, and you should be confident that you know what you’re getting into.
Chances are the inexperienced advisers will regurgitate whatever they learned, and do not know any better than what they were taught.
# 3 “How much of your clients are new from prospecting vs referrals from existing clients?”
There are various ways to assess whether the financial adviser you encounter is good. Firstly, the best way to assess is to ask someone else who engaged this adviser in the past. Secondly, financial advisers sometimes have their own Facebook pages or websites where you can get more information about them. You should look out for detailed reviews of how this adviser helped the reviewers. The good thing about Facebook is that if you’re bold enough, you can message these clients of the adviser to get more information.
# 4 “What’s your experience/education in financial planning?”
Make sure he or she has the right experience and/or qualification to advise. For example, you’d want someone who is experienced in doing his/her own investments to advise you on investments. It will be good to engage someone who has advised other clients with similar profiles as yourself. If the adviser says he or she achieved a sales volume-based awards like the MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) award, ask for other awards since sales volume is not an indication of expertise and experience.
# 5 “What’s your motivation for becoming a financial adviser?”
Obviously you don’t want to be hearing answers like “I could not find another job” or “I was inspired by my friends’ Facebook posts with them posing with a flashy car”. You want your financial adviser to have your best interests at heart.
Find The Right Adviser With fundMyLife
We hope this article is useful to you if you’re wondering what you can ask to pick the right financial advisers. If you don’t know who to ask or where to find amazing financial advisers, we got you.
If you want to engage more financial advisers, or if you haven’t found the right one, why not consider advisers of fundMyLife? You can head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.
fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect you to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on your financial planning questions.
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