Money Monday: Questions to ask a financial advisor


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)- Interested in hiring a financial advisor? WLNS is here for you with local money expert Stephen Schiestel with the questions you should ask any financial advisor you’re interested in working with.

The first thing you should ask a financial advisor should be “are you a fiduciary 100% of the time?” said Schiestel.

It’s also important to ask if they have any conflicts of interest and who they might “owe loyalty to,” he said.

“Second thing that we would want to ask is what is the total cost of working with the advisor,” said Schiestel.

It’s important to get a full breakdown of of the different costs and expenses associated with the advisor, and how the advisor expects to be paid.

“Do they get paid through the funds? What are the transactional costs?” Does the advisor get paid a flat fee? Is the pay based on commission?

It’s good to get this data in raw numbers and percentage of assets, Schiestel advises.

You should also ask if the advisor would be looking strictly at your investment portfolio, or if they are going to also act in a planning capacity.

“Are they going to be looking at all aspects of our financial lives’ budget? Our balance sheet, debt, estate plan, how we would dispose assets,” said Schiestel.

If you’re looking to make money in a specific investment field, it’s possible to find an advisor that works in that niche.

Checking on their education is important as well. Where did they get their degree? Do they have a graduate degree? Do they have advanced credentials?

You should also check on their experience, such as how long they’ve been working in the financial field.

Check out Schiestel’s full advice in the video above.

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