Questions to Ask an Advisor Candidate

There are influential professionals, advisors, and mentors that assist us in many aspects of our lives. I’ve personally found it helpful to find people who have strong values and are committed to helping others.  Knowing good questions to ask people you are considering whom to entrust and hire as an advisor, whether in a financial, health, faith or another important aspect of your life, can improve your ability to find that “right” relationship. 

In his book “Financial Intelligence,” author by Doug Lennick lists 10 questions to ask a candidate you are considering hiring as your financial advisor.  Based upon that list, we believe these questions may aid you in finding a financial advisor that is a good fit for you.

  1. What are your most important values?
  2. What is the one thing that your clients say most often about you?
  3. Can you tell me about a time when a client wanted to make a financial decision that you didn’t think was in their best interest?
  4. Can you tell me about a situation in which you made a mistake dealing with a client?  How did you handle it?
  5. Tell me about how you handle your working relationship with your most difficult client?  What do you do that’s different from how you act in your relationship with your favorite client?
  6. What services do you personally provide that I might not expect from another advisor?
  7. How do you make sure that your clients know where they stand relative to their financial and life goals?
  8. Can you tell me about a situation in which you worked with another professional inside or outside your firm to help meet a client’s needs?  Who did you work with and what was your relationship with him or her like?
  9. How have you personally responded to market volatility, and how have you communicated your thoughts and feelings about market volatility to clients?
  10. What kind of risk and return expectations do you see as reasonable for a person in my situation?

These questions can form the foundation for a meaningful relationship in a vital aspect of your life.  They can also be the basis for an informative conversation that can help you differentiate a professional financial advisor from a salesperson posing as an advisor.

I hope this information is helpful.  Remember, one size does not fit all in this type of relationship, so it is advantageous to ask questions until you find that right fit.  If we can be of help to you, please reach out.  

Enjoy the day!