Choosing the right financial planner is one of the most important decisions you can make in building your wealth. These are 6 critical questions you should ask before putting your financial future in a planner’s hands.
- What are your qualifications?
Ensure your planner has a recognized and reputable designation. The gold standard for professionals providing financial planning advice in Canada is the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) certification, issued by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC).
- How long have you been working as a financial planner?
Look for an advisor who has helped clients navigate multiple market cycles.
- Do you have clients who are dentists?
Dentists are unique. A planner needs to understand the financial demands of buying, running and selling a practice, along with the insurance protection required to protect you and your practice.
- How do you charge for your services?
Many financial planners and advisors are compensated through trailing commissions (embedded in a fund’s management expense ratio or MER). These commissions—ranging from 0.25% to 1.5%—are split between the advisor and their brokerage, and can have a considerable negative impact on your returns over time.
- How personalized are your financial plans?
Some planners simply ask a prescribed set of questions, then churn out a financial plan, much like a robo-advisor (online financial advisor). But each client is unique and deserves a unique plan.
- How do you go beyond the expected?
There are many intangibles that go beyond number crunching and making investment recommendations. A good planner helps you see the big picture and keep your eye on the long term when markets go through periods of uncertainty and volatility. Service quality is also important. Be sure to ask about.
Contact us at 1.800.561.9401 or firstname.lastname@example.org to ask these questions.