Choosing a financial advisor to work with your clients is like selecting a business partner: This person will be working with your clients and helping to shape their financial lives. It is important that you select one or more firms that can meet the needs of your clients and deliver their services effectively.
As you consider various professionals, start with a few questions to narrow your field of candidates. Ask yourself:
- Does this firm offer the services that my clients need?
- Does the firm and the advisor have the expertise to serve the needs of my clients?
- Are there one or more professionals that I would embrace as a partner in serving my clients?
- Would my clients feel comfortable with this advisor/team?
Once you have your short list of advisors, meet with them in their office—that will give you a sense of their ‘client experience.’ Use the questions below as a guide in your discussions; the answers will give you a better understanding of the firm and what it would be like to work with them.
- Tell me about your clients. What type of clients do you like to work with?
- What type of clients are you seeking to meet through me?
- How will you identify the needs of my clients?
- Tell me about the client experience in the first year.
- What is your investment philosophy and the philosophy of your firm in how you manage portfolios?
- What is your financial planning process?
- How will you communicate with my clients and with me?
- What is my role in the process of introducing my clients to you and my ongoing responsibilities?
- What are your fees and how would I share in them?
- How should I introduce clients to you?
With this information, you should be well prepared to create good relationships with a financial advisor and begin broadening your own value as a trusted advisor.