Return To Blog

What to Ask Denver Investment Advisors Before Working with Them

February 14, 2018

Choosing a financial planning professional to help you grow your wealth is an intensely personal experience. Not only do you need to be concerned with how your investments perform, but you’ll also want to find an advisor that gets to know you as an individual. They should focus on your needs, your strategy, and your financial goals rather than their personal commissions or salaries. Finding an advisor can be a challenging process, but by asking the right questions, you’ll find a firm you can trust to manage your assets and grow your wealth for years to come. Here are a few things you need to ask before agreeing to work with a financial planner.

Are You a Fiduciary Advisor?

Almost anyone can become a financial advisor and unless you know their personalities, you may not be able to pinpoint how they run their business. Some look out for their bottom line while others focus solely on the performance of their clients’ assets. These individuals look out for your welfare rather than assessing you higher and higher fees for their services. Any recommendation must be based on whether or not it serves the client; recommendations that are designed solely to increase the advisor’s earnings go against the fiduciary standard. At Foxstone Financial, we pride ourselves on acting as fiduciaries for all of our clients, whether they’re just starting out or have an established portfolio they wish to increase.

How Much Do You Charge?

Some advisors charge a set fee while others charge a certain percentage based on the amount under advisement. Still others charge additional fees for establishing a strategy and the initial planning process. Before you agree to work with any advisor, make sure you understand how they’ll charge you for their services. Be sure to ask if there are any additional fees for specific services. If they’re unwilling to answer, walk away. A good financial planner should be willing to disclose their fee process and give you upfront information before you ever place your assets under management.

What Services Do You Offer?

Different firms focus on different areas of wealth management and financial growth. You’ll want to pick a firm that fits your needs and can act as your one-stop-shop for all of your wealth management concerns. Before you agree to work with any advisor, make sure their firm can provide all of the services you need. Transferring your accounts between firms can take time, interfering with the performance of your investment portfolio and impacting your wealth management strategy. By sticking with a single firm, you’ll know that every person involved in your account is kept up to speed with your risk tolerance, strategy, and past performance.

What Is Your Personal Strategy?

If an advisor is hell-bent on high-risk investments and does not believe in assessing an individual’s risk tolerance before making an investment decision, look elsewhere. A good financial planner understands that risk tolerance changes as you age and as your assets grow. If they continue to push a high risk strategy and it’s something you’re not comfortable with, they’re not the best person for your needs. The right advisor will get to know your risk tolerance and should make recommendations based on the type of investments you’re comfortable with. Keep in mind that investing will always require a certain degree of risk, but that risk should be balanced with reasonable expectations of returns.

Can You Give Me a Sample Analysis?

Agreeing to work with an advisor without seeing an example of the types of plans they’d enact for your assets is like buying a car without taking it for a test drive. A reputable financial advisor and financial planner will happily prepare a sample plan to give you an idea of their wealth management strategy and offer insight into whether or not they’re the right fit for your needs. Keep in mind that sample plans are not required by any licensing agency and are considered an additional service. However, most advisors believe you should know what you’re getting into before you agree to work with their wealth management firm. Once you have the sample in hand, you’ll be able to ask questions about their proposed strategy and ask for clarification on items you don’t understand.

How Often Will We be in Touch?

Some people prefer a more hands-off approach while others like advisors who are willing to communicate multiple times each week. Working with a firm that does not share your communication expectations will not work over the long-run. Before you transfer your assets to their management, make sure they’ll communicate with you as much as you’d expect. If that means your advisor calls you every month to give you an update or sends you an email with quarterly progress, that’s fine. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your planner should work with your preferences.

How Many People Will be on the Account?

It’s important that you know who works on your account at all times. Some financial planners operate on their own while others work with a team or a junior advisor to provide more individualized attention and care to their clients. If you’re more comfortable with the thought of a single person overseeing your account, take care to choose a professional that shares your preferences. Working with a team when you’re least expecting it can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and overall dissatisfaction with the company’s services.

At Foxstone Financial, we believe that everyone should be able to live the life they dream of without fear of outliving their savings. Our experienced financial planners will work with you to develop a strategy that fits your unique situation and helps accomplish your goals, whether you want to save for your children’s education or grow your retirement savings so you can travel the world in style. Each advisor is fully licensed and insured and will manage your funds as if they were their own. Learn more about our dedicated team and call (303) 988-5443 to schedule a consultation today.