Three Questions To Ask Your Financial Counselor
Navigating the long term health and growth of your finances is a lot to do on your own. There are so many options for diversification, but a lot of risk is involved in making bad decisions.
Financial counselors and advisors can help you get the most out of your money and make sure you are set up with a successful plan. We highly recommend working with a qualified financial counselor to help you earn more, save more, and do more financially.
But not all financial counselors and advisors are the same. Before you start working with one, we suggest asking them at least these three questions.
1. What are your credentials?
Sometimes, their credentials are posted on their website, which makes this an easy question to answer. But even if they are, it’s still good to talk through their credentials before working with them.
One of the first credentials they should have is being a fiduciary. This means that they are required by law to put your financial interests above their own. Ask them to clarify what that means and why it’s important to you.
You should also look into their background and how many other clients they have worked with successfully. No financial counselor can promise success, but knowing their background and track record is a good indication.
2. What does it look like to work together?
All financial counselors have their own processes and fee structures. Be sure and ask them what theirs are and make sure you are comfortable with it.
- Do they charge a flat monthly rate or do they make a percentage of overall earnings (or a combination of both)?
- How often will you meet with them?
- Do they manage investments or just advice?
- Is your money held in a third party fund with oversight?
All of these things are important to know before you start working together. Financial growth takes time and you want to be able to work with your counselor for a long time.
3. What is your investment philosophy?
There are a lot of different ways to approach investments. Some advisors prefer riskier investments for higher payout. Some leverage debt while others avoid debt at all costs. Some prefer low risk.
There are pros and cons of any philosophy, but it’s important that you understand your advisor’s philosophy and that you are comfortable with what they will do with your money. If, for example, her risk comfort is significantly higher than yours, it’s probably good to find a different advisor.
Getting a good financial counselor or advisor is one of the best things you can do for your long-term financial goals. But make sure you know what you are getting into and that it is a good mutual fit.
As a member of Kelly Community, you get access to a financial counselor with a complimentary consultation. Sign up today to get your financial plan on track!