October 19

Questions to Ask When Interviewing Financial Professionals


Questions to Ask When Interviewing Financial Professionals by Peter Gordon{2:10 minutes to read} For a number of different reasons, seniors may have an interest in changing their Financial Advisor. When doing so, it is important to get some core information from the individual you intend to entrust your savings to. Here are a few excellent questions to ask:

  • How do you get paid for investments you recommend?

Advisors should be 100% transparent when it comes to explaining their fee structure. You should be able to fully understand how they are paid. Ask if they are fee-paid or fee-only.

Fee-paid advisors:

Financial professionals who work on a fee-paid basis receive commissions. Fee-paid advisors sometimes suggest buying certain mutual funds that come with charges or fees (load funds) when you buy or sell the fund. These “loads” can increase the cost and decrease your eventual return.


Financial advisors who are paid on a fee-only basis earn a combination of fees and commissionsthese are true advisors. Fee-only advisors are paid by the hour or on a monthly retainer, based on the value of the client’s investments. Sometimes these advisors are also paid by the gains made in your account.

  • What are your qualifications?

Ask what licenses and designations the prospective advisor has. At a minimum, the advisor should have a Series 7. This is the general securities registered representative license administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) that entitles the holder to sell all types of securities products with the exception of commodities and futures.

Other designations an advisor has might be certified financial planner (CFP), certified fund specialist (CFS), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered financial analyst (CFA), chartered life underwriter (CLU) and/or juris doctor (JD), and carry other Series such as the 24, 51, 63, 65, 66 and insurance licenses.

  • How frequently do you communicate with your clients?

Your advisor should focus on delivering proactive and transparent communications to clients. Find out how often investment holding reports are sent and what the normal frequency of investment reviews are. Ask how available the advisor is to phone calls. In addition, find out if  you will be communicating with the advisor or an associate.

  • Who is your ideal client?

It is very likely that the advisor was referred by a friend who is happy with their financial professional. You still need to do your own due diligence.

Ask who a typical client is and why. It is critical that the advisor has the knowledge of the needs of senior investors, as well as the experience of working with them. By identifying an ideal client profile, both you and the advisor can determine if there is a mutual fit before working together.

Once you’ve chosen your financial professional, continue asking questions. Don’t just let it lie and accept everythinglook at things carefully, and when you have a question, get as much information as you can.

Contact me today if you would like additional information about choosing a financial advisor. I am here to serve your best interests and welcome the opportunity to help you.

Peter Gordon

New York Financial Organizers, Inc.


financial advice, financial advisor, money management, New York Financial Organizers, peter gordon

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