Any of your questions should be fair game, ask them all. The questions here have a little extra bite in them based on our experience over the past three decades in case it helps anybody dig up some revealing answers. Many good people have shared with us that they don’t know what questions to ask. We like to offer these and more - along with our answers proactively – before they ask. So, we are happy to share them here for you.
Here are five of many questions we would ask during an interview of an investment advisor before hiring them.
As uncomfortable as interviews can be for some people, and the topic of money for others – combining the two can be intimidating for anybody. But not asking important questions up front will lead to countless more questions and anxiety later.
1) How many different investment products are inside all of your clients’ accounts, the cumulative total that you are trying to keep up with, to advise on?
2) For each investment, can you describe the sell discipline when something goes wrong? If there are fund managers you have hired for this, when is the last time you have discussed sell disciplines with them personally?
3) What is your own retirement plan, how much longer can I count on you working tirelessly for me?
4) Can I speak to a few families who you have provided retirement income for, through bull and bear markets over the recent decades’ full market cycles?
5) (If you could only ask one question, this is the one.) Exactly how have you invested your own money?
*Bonus question, if the advisor has worked at multiple investment firms. What kind of bonus did you receive to move your clients’ accounts? Trusting you to take care of them first, did your clients receive a similar bonus?
The holistic process of building a plan and investing it,alongside ongoing advice at every turn, is worth taking your time to ask ANY question you wish. Your family is relying on you to really get to the bottom of what a true partnership with complete trust can be like. We hope one or more of these questions can help you get to a better place, wherever that is.
We will always be thrilled to answer questions ourselves if it might help, along with our open playbook at all times.