40 Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor can be a valuable asset when it comes to growing and managing your money. But not all financial advisors are the same. Some may have ulterior motives, such as selling you products that aren’t in your best interest. Others may not be properly licensed or insured. And still, others may simply not be a good fit for your needs.

That’s why it’s important to do your homework before hiring a financial advisor. Here are some questions to ask a potential financial advisor before making a decision.

40 Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor Before You Hire One:

  1. What is your typical client like?
  2. What are your qualifications?
  3. How long have you been in business?
  4. How will you compensate me for your services?
  5. Do you have any conflicts of interest that I should know about?
  6. Do you have any tips on how to reduce debt? 
  7. What do you think is the best way to save for retirement? 
  8. What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to their finances? 
  9. What is your investment philosophy?
  10. What experience do you have with clients in my situation?
  11. What experience do you have with retirement planning? 
  12. Can you provide me with references from other clients?
  13. What would you say is your greatest success or greatest failure as a financial advisor?
  14. What is your experience with investment planning and portfolio management?
  15. Do you have any disciplinary actions on your record?
  16. What are the potential conflicts of interest I should know about? 
  17. Do you specialize in any specific type of planning or investing strategy? 
  18. What would you say are your three biggest strengths as an advisor? 
  19. Do you have any team members I will be working with, and can I meet them?
  20. What happens if we decide to part ways down the road—how will our assets be transferred out of your firm smoothly?
  21. Do you offer comprehensive financial planning services? 
  22. What does your process look like? 
  23. What opportunities do my finances offer right now? 
  24. Do I need disability insurance?
  25. How can I protect my assets if something happens to me?
  26. Should I have life insurance? 
  27. How often should someone review their financial plan? 
  28. How can I know if I’m on track to reach my financial goals?
  29. What do you think is the biggest financial mistake a person can make in retirement?
  30. What do you think is the best way to save for retirement?
  31. What do you think is the best way to invest for retirement?
  32. What do you think is the best way to save money for a major purchase like a house or a car? 
  33. What are the fees associated with your services?
  34. How often will my portfolio be rebalanced?
  35. What is your experience in estate planning?
  36. What is your experience in tax planning?
  37. What is your experience in college planning?
  38. What resources do you use to make investment decisions?
  39. How do you manage risk?
  40. What are your thoughts on active vs passive investing? 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you expect from your financial advisor?

Your financial advisor should be able to advise you on a variety of financial topics, such as investments, retirement planning, and estate planning. He or she should also be able to help you create and stick to a budget, and recommend products and services that are right for you. Above all, your financial advisor should be trustworthy and reliable.

What to know before meeting with a financial advisor?

When you meet with a financial advisor, it is important to be prepared. Have a clear idea of what you want to discuss and what you hope to get out of the meeting.

Bring any relevant documents or information you may have. It is also helpful to have an idea of your financial goals and what you would like to accomplish in the future.

This way, the advisor can better understand your needs and provide guidance accordingly.

How does a meeting with a financial advisor work?

A meeting with a financial advisor usually begins with the advisor asking about the client’s financial goals. Then the advisor inquires about the client’s current financial situation and makes recommendations on how to achieve the client’s goals. The meeting may also include a discussion of investment options and strategies.

How often should you talk to your financial advisor?

Most people should talk to their financial advisor at least once a year, although you may need to talk to them more often or less often depending on your personal situation.

How do you prepare for a financial review?

Preparation is key when it comes to financial reviews. You should make sure you have all your documents and data in order so that the review can be conducted as efficiently as possible.

You should also review your financial statements and other relevant information so that you are aware of any potential issues or concerns.


Working with a qualified and ethical financial advisor can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your long-term financial goals. But finding the right advisor isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and ask tough questions before making a decision.

By asking yourself the right questions upfront, you can ensure you find an advisor that best fits your needs – and avoid costly mistakes down the road.

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