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 you recommended this to me?”
On top of advising you on how you should do your finances, your potential financial adviser should also be educating you on his/her 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 “Do you have referrals to your 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 in this area?”
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 “Can I trust you?”
This is something you should ask yourself. Your inner voice is one of the most powerful forces. The financial adviser you engage will hopefully be with you for a long time. You would want someone whom you can trust along the way. You can also ask your potential adviser this question to see what he/she says. The good ones will be convincing. Whereas the untrustworthy ones may just stumble over themselves trying to convince you that they’re trustworthy.
Bonus: #6 “Are you doing anything else besides advising?”
At the risk of ruffling feathers of advisers who have side hustles, you should ask your potential advisers this. They should be 100% committed to helping you with your finances. And any other side hustles that they have serve to divide their attention from what matters the most – their clients and their relationships.
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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.
Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.
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