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FINDING THE RIGHT FINANCIAL ADVISOR: 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK

FINDING THE RIGHT FINANCIAL ADVISOR: 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK

March 26, 2024

If you’ve started the process of looking for a financial advisor, you’ve likely come to realize there are a lot of them out there and it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the sea of headshots and buzzwords. But who you trust with this role could be one of the most important decisions you ever make, and knowing what questions to ask can help you feel confident in your choice and set you up for long-term financial success.

Not every advisor’s approach is the same, and finding a professional who is not only qualified but also a good fit for your individual needs and expectations is key.

In some ways, the process is like being a hiring manager wanting to fill a role. You are looking for someone qualified to manage the required tasks (your financial needs), compensating them, and then working together toward long-term goals and growth.

To get you started, here are five questions to ask a potential advisor, and a few to ask yourself, before selecting a financial professional to work with.


QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

  1. Are they a fiduciary? (and what does that mean?)

A fiduciary is a person or organization who acts on behalf of others (usually involving finances) and is legally required to put the needs and well-being of the client above their own.

Registered investment advisors (RIAs) and insurance agents, like those on the Twin Oak Advisors team, have fiduciary duties to their clients.

Not all financial professionals are fiduciaries, and choosing an advisor who is held to these standards ensures that decisions are being made are with YOUR best interest in mind. Additionally, those with fiduciary duties are held to a high level of transparency and obligated to disclose conflicts of interest to avoid bias in their recommendations.

 

  1. What are their qualifications?

Not all financial advisors are created equal, and checking the qualifications of any professional you’re considering working with will help determine if they are the right fit for you. There are many certifications and designations a planner can acquire, reflecting their education, training, specialty, etc. Twin Oak is proud to have advisors with concentrations in investment advisory, risk management, advice-based planning, and loan repayment strategies to specifically address the areas of concern for physicians.

 

  1. How do they get paid?

Financial advisors can be compensated in several ways, and it’s important to have a clear understanding of how a professional would be getting paid before deciding to work with them.

Common methods for compensation include fee-for-advice, commissions on products such as insurance policies, and fees based on a percentage of assets being managed. Most Twin Oak clients engage us in multiple capacities, but we offer this suite of services because we understand every physician’s needs are unique.

 

  1. Who is their typical client?

Does what they describe sound like you? Do they have experience with others in similar situations, whether that be life stage, goals, career, or other unique needs?

 

  1. Do they provide a range of services or connections?

Twin Oak Advisors is set up like a pinwheel with you, the client, at the center. You have a dedicated advisor who works with different specialists to provide the highest level of service and expertise in each area of concern. You do not need to rely on one individual to “know everything” and can be confident that different financial questions can be addressed properly.

Many clients have questions about student loan repayment, disability & life insurance, retirement planning, and college funding. Our team works together to address these goals, allowing our clients to feel confident and educated in their financial plans.


CHECK-IN WITH YOURSELF

Do I feel comfortable with this person?

A financial advisor is someone who will not only manage and discuss your money, but also your family, job, goals, and other aspects of your life. It is important to feel comfortable and confident with this person. It is okay to meet with multiple people or take a little extra time to decide when thinking about your financial future and what feels right.

Do they feel accessible to me?

How often are you hoping to connect with your financial advisor? Does it feel like their availability fits your expectations and schedule? What is your preferred method of communication? There are many different approaches a financial professional can take when communicating with clients, from regular check-ins and proactive reach-outs, to a more minimal approach, communicating only as needed.

Asking a potential advisor their typical routine for connecting with clients as well as sharing your own preferences can help determine if you’re a good fit. In addition to a general communication schedule, consider the actual working schedule, hours, and flexibility of their schedule and whether it’s a fit for your own lifestyle.



At Twin Oak Advisors, we offer holistic planning, insurance, and investment advice for physicians at all career stages. If you have questions or would like to connect with a specialist, please contact us here.

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