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What You Should Ask Your Financial Planner

A little help is required when you do your financial planning, and this aid comes from a financial planner. A financial planner's expertise in understanding taxes, debt management, investing skills and all the money related list of topics, can help you in covering your area around it. And to map things for you, a good financial planner who suits your needs is a must find.

There are certain questions that you could ask your financial planner to rule out the best one. These questions are listed below:

What are your credentials?

The first and foremost thing to ask your financial adviser is about their certifications and experience. These certificates ensure their expertise in a specific field of their knowledge which thereby enables you to figure out if they could be the best one to take advice from. Certificates like CFP (Certified Financial Planner) should be looked for.

Do you abide by fiduciary rules?

The most important question that should be asked is this. And if you receive an answer that reflects a 'no', then the answer to your question of hiring them is also a NO. The fiduciaries work for your best interest, whereas non-fiduciaries like the ones associated with banks and brokerage firms recommend what is best suitable for you, keeping in alignment, their own interests.

What are the inclusions and exclusions of your service?

It is important to get a check of what service you are getting before investing in it. One should always ask for the extras and complimentary services or advice the planner is ready to provide. To list, a few examples of the services that they could provide are:

  • Tax planning
  • Insurance policy advice
  • Retirement planning
  • Business succession planning

Apart from the formal services, the overall wealth management should be the most concerning matter for your financial planner. 

How frequently can I access your services?

Interaction between you and your planner matters the most. It is good to clarify in the beginning how all the procedures would be taken on board. A detailed discussion about the face-to-face meetings and connecting through mails and phone calls is a must so that no complaints arise in the future.

What are the investment criteria you follow?

Every financial planner has their own style and philosophy of investing. It is subjective in nature and hence, it is important to look out for the one whose feet fit the best in your shoes. Advisors follow different risk levels. Some prefer asset preservation whereas some focus on aggressive growth. In this case, you have to be wise enough to choose the one whose ideology you relate the best with.

Does your company sell investment funds?

It is good to know beforehand if your planner's company provides such a service. If this is so, then it's better to invest in safe hands instead of getting into someone unknown. But, also, it is best to know the fiduciary concept in such cases.

What would be my tax bill while I invest with you?

Everything good comes with a fee, including hiring a financial planner. The fee that you are going to pay to your planner is based on how much your net returns turn out to be after all the tax deductions and fees paid. Putting in a simpler equation, the question emphasizes how much you are going to keep after the fees and taxes.

What will be the succession plan?

Financial planners have their personal goals as well. Hence, they may not be there always. It's good to know in-depth about what happens to you if they leave. You should know whether they work with a team or not so that if they leave your finances can be led by some other substitute of that team.

If you aren't satisfied solely with these questions, you can put forth some exemplary problems similar to yours, say tax planning, seek your answers from them and decide if their responses are of any good to you. If none of this helps, then recommendations matter the most! Financial planners referred by your friends or family could be a good start.

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