How to prepare for a session with your financial advisor

Today on the Thrive For[e]ward podcast we have some great content for you, specifically if you are now just exploring the concept of working with a financial advisor for the first time or looking to make a change.


We will address on today’s episode what you can do prior to meeting with your financial advisor. What questions should you ask? What do you want to learn before making the decision to bring them along on your journey? What are some red flags to look for?


The top two things prior to your meeting that you’ll want to do are:



o   Google is your best friend! Do your homework. Look up their website, their social media, etc. Try to find out if their or their company’s goals and values align with yours. What is their messaging? What is their process?



o   You’ll want to explore more in your first meeting but it’s going to be important to know what their part in the process vs yours will be. Be ready with a list of questions so you know what will be non-negotiable for you when working with some. Think about how you will want that person to communicate with you, what will you want from them? What are your goals? How active do you want to be with investment decisions? You’ll also want to ensure you ask and know about how they are compensated.


You wouldn’t get your oil changed or your hair cut without knowing the cost, and yet more than 1 in 5 investors don’t know what they pay in investment fees, according to a survey by Personal Capital. Another 10% don’t even know if they’re paying any fees at all. (Source: U.S. News)


Prompting Questions for asking about Compensation: 

  • How are you getting paid?

  • Do you earn commissions?

  • How much money are you and/or the company making to put me in this investment?

  • What are my total costs for working with you?


There are multiple ways advisors get paid, some of them include:

  • Fee-only advisors charge an annual, hourly or flat fee.

  • Commission-based advisors are paid through the investments they sell.

  • Fee-based advisors earn a combination of a fee, plus commissions.


You need to understand that you have control in this conversation and can ask any question you want. YOU are interviewing them to handle some of the most important things in your life … your health, your wealth, and your relationships. The order of importance will vary for each person but because money touches all aspects our lives, you want someone that understands that.


Fees can come in so many complex areas so to ensure you have a full understanding you have to ask. Our goal at Forethought Planning is to empower and educate and be vulnerable with you. We are always transparent and enjoy nothing more than creating a relationship with our clients beyond just the investment side of things. We are honored that so many of our clients have become friends.


I believe that WE as advisors are like a tool in your toolbox. We are a resource. That said, your tools need to function for you. You need to know, what do they cost and what do you get for that cost? We ourselves on being able to make connections for you. We want to be part of your team and be able to be a resource to connect you to who and all the ways they can support you on your journey.


Lastly if you haven’t check out our weekly question and answer series called MONEY ON YOUR MIND? I invite you to do so and check out all the previous episodes. You can also submit your own question.



·      5 Questions to Ask Your Financial Planner

·      What to Know About Advisor Fees and Costs

·      10 Questions your Financial Advisor Should Ask You


If you have a topic you would like us to explore on the podcast we want to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected] and in the meantime, we hope you continue to join us on this series and invite you to schedule an appointment to our complimentary 30 min Wealth Assessment session to learn more aout how we incorporate these strategies and other’s to assist you through the financial planning process.


Securities offered through LPL Financial, a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Advisors’ Pride, a SEC registered investment advisor. LPL Financial, Advisors’ Pride, Forethought Planning and the guests of Thrive For[e]ward podcast are separate and unaffiliated parties. Any of the parties listed above are not affiliated with Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL Financial. The views expressed here are those of the participants, and not those of Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. LPL Financial and Forethought Planning do not offer legal services.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) / Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria excludes securities of certain issues for non-financial reasons, and therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.

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