What experience and qualifications do you have? 

Ask the planner what qualifies them to offer financial planning advice and whether they are a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional or CFP® practitioner. Look for a planner who has proven experience in financial planning topics and works with a team of other qualified professionals.

How will you build my financial plan? 

Be sure the financial planner is focused on your goals and what you want to accomplish. Your financial plan should be tailored to you and change as your life changes. A plan will only work if it keeps up with your life.

What’s this going to cost me? 

As part of your financial planning agreement, the financial planner should clearly tell you how they will be paid. If they won’t clearly tell you how much they charge, how do you know if you can trust them? Costs may vary based on your needs, but they should be clearly stated.

Are you acting in my best interest? 

Ask the planner to provide you with a description of their conflicts of interest. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals or CFP® practitioners are held to a fiduciary standard, meaning they are legally obligated to act in your best interest when creating financial plans. Not all financial planners are held to that standard.

Do you have a disciplinary history? 

Your financial advisor should tell you about any disciplinary actions taken against them. Ask them to provide you with a disclosure form called Form ADV - Part II or the state equivalent of that form.