Thomas M. Geier, CPA, CFP®, PFS
It goes without saying that, if you want great advice about some of the most important financial decisions you may make in your life, you would want to find the best qualified person available. Ideally, you will be forming a trusted relationship that will last for many years. Understandably, this choice can be quite difficult. To help make your decision a bit easier, here are some points to discuss in your meetings. Because this decision is so important, don’t be afraid to ask hard questions.
The Questions You Need to Ask
- What qualifies you to give financial advice? In other words, ask about the advisor’s work experience and how it equates to your needs. Ask them about their credentials, what they mean, and how they stay up to date with changes in the financial arena.
- What types of clients do you work with? Some advisors have developed an expertise in a particular market and may or may not be relevant to your situation. Also, some have minimum net worth or asset level requirements.
- How will you be compensated? Ask if the advisor charges on an hourly fee basis, receives commissions, or charges based on investment assets. The type of compensation could possibly have an impact on the recommendations the advisor makes to you. A written agreement should be provided and reviewed.
- Have you ever been disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your career? This tough question may help the advisor explain the compliance and regulatory practices of his or her firm and how professional their conduct has been over time.
- Can you give me the names a few clients you currently work with that I may call for a reference? Talking with some of the advisor’s existing clients can give you a feel for the type of experience you may expect during this relationship.
Once you have interviewed your potential advisor, match the skills, experience, and service expectations against your needs. Do you feel this advisor can deliver the quality advice that will best help you reach your goals? Do you feel a bond and the level of trust needed to discuss and disclose private financial information? Was your communication smooth and easy with this person?
At Geier Asset Management, we do our best to provide all needed information to help you make the best decision whether to work with us or not. We know that not everyone is a good fit. Give us a chance to put our best foot forward and explain the many advantages of working with our firm. If you’re looking for a trusted financial advisor in Howard County, Maryland, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
© Geier Asset Management, Inc. Dec 2017. Thomas M. Geier is a Vice President of Geier Asset Management, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. The above blog reflects the opinions of Mr. Geier and not necessarily the firm. Any advice given is general in nature and investors must consider their own individual circumstances. Past performance is no indicator of future performance. The firm makes no warranties or representations of any kind relating to the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.