8 Questions to Ask Your Advisor
Before you can entrust your financial future with your financial advisor, there are a series of questions you should be asking them. It is important to understand if they have your best interest in mind, how they are begin compensated, their qualifications, and what to expect from your relationship.
We have taken the liberty to list those questions below along with our answers to each one. We would be more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have about working with us.
Are Your Recommendations in my Best Interest?
Imagine seeking help for a problem you’ve been experiencing. You search far and wide to find a professional to help you. Before even explaining your problem, the professional recommends a solution that you need to purchase today before it was too late. After purchasing, you later learned that the professional was paid extra every time someone purchased that product. That may seem absurd, but that scenario closely resembles the financial industry as it is today.
As a firm, and a professional, we take our Fiduciary duty to always act in the client’s best interest very seriously. Our firm is built on a foundation of placing the client’s interest before any of our own interest and compensation. We recommend for clients the same investments and financial planning strategies that we use in our own personal accounts and the accounts of our immediate family numbers. Our commitment to honest and ethical behavior has allowed us to build a highly successful firm.
How Are You Compensated?
Not only are we a fiduciary, but we are a fee-only firm. As a fee-only firm, we have doubled-down on our mission to remain transparent about our pricing and commitment to serving clients in their best interest.
We cannot accept any fees, payments, or commissions from products, companies, or referrals that we may work with. All of our recommendations are done in our client’s best interest and not by who is going to pay us more. As a fee-only firm our only payment can be from the client. This ensures our interest remained aligned with yours.
Will You Help Me Solve Any and All Financial Problems I May Encounter?
Yes. We have assisted clients in solving an assortment of financial issues such as 401k plans, IRS audits, debt management, family deaths, disability, tax issues, real estate, Social Security, Medicare, health insurance, student loans, college planning, gifting, and almost any other financial issue imaginable. If a client must go outside of our arears of expertise, we can offer recommendations and make introductions to the necessary professionals.
Will Your Recommendation be Primarily Focused in One Area, or Will Your Recommendations be Comprehensive in Nature? In Other Words, Will I Need to Find Another Advisor for Advice in Other Areas?
For our clients, we serve as a single point of contact for all their financial needs. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER this includes coordinating every aspect of their financial needs. Each of our clients has a financial plan and action checklist detailing all of the actions needed to achieve their financial goals.
How Often Will I Hear From You?
We typically meet twice annually, in April and October. Between our meetings we will reach out to check in on our clients and see if we need to make any updates to their plan. Once a quarter, we will mail out quarterly performance reporting and market commentary that clearly displays what is going on in your accounts. In addition, clients are always welcome to call or email any questions or concerns to a dedicated client-only email address.
What Certifications Do You Have?
Our financial planners hold the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP) designation. As a CFP, we’ve been given the skill and knowledge to assist our clients in all aspects of cash flow management, risk management, insurance, investments, tax planning, and estate planning.
Adam Beaty is also an Enrolled Agent (EA), a federally licensed tax practitioner. Adam Beaty understands that any decision made about your finances will have an affect on your taxes. With the Enrolled Agent designation, we understand the tax code and how to make the best decisions to lower your tax burden.
Do I Need to Move My Investments Over to You?
It is our mission to help everyone achieve financial success. This means that we need to help clients that have little or no investments for us to manage. Unlike most financial advisors that just want their clients to move their investments over to them, we do not have that requirement.
If clients do not have investments to move over or want to self-manage, they have that ability when they work with us. We understand most clients do not want to hassle with managing their own investments, so we offer the ability to move their investments over to us for us to manage at no additional fee. We have no minimum asset requirement in working with us.
Where Do You Keep My Money and How Can I See It?
For client convenience and safety, we use TD Ameritrade as the custodian for client assets. As custodian, TD Ameritrade holds your funds and provides reporting to you and the IRS. Accounts can be accessed at any time from AdvisorClient.com.