5 Questions A Woman Should Ask Her Potential Financial Advisor
By JW Rayhons & Alexis Stigers
Financial products/investments do not have a bias toward any specific person; Rather, they perform on the overall market and economy. With that being said, gender does not matter. However, when it comes to choosing an advisor, it should be based on your personal needs, desires, goals. As women, sometimes there can be preference towards certain characteristics, the key is to always consider your own needs when asking questions.
What services do you offer and how do you allocate assets?
It is important to ask what services are offered and what they specialize in to decide if they fit your specific needs (retirement, college planning, financial planning, etc.). If you are only looking for college planning, you may choose an advisor that specializes in only that area, but if you require multiple services you may gravitate towards an advisor knowledgeable in many areas.
How do you create value for your clients and what is your investment philosophy?
This is such an important question! Nobody wants to end up with an advisor only to feel like another number. Hearing their philosophy and beliefs on how value is created for their clients provides a glimpse into what that advisor - client relationship would look like. Keep an eye out for shared fundamental beliefs and ethics, this can help build or reinforce a connection to your potential advisor.
How often is my financial plan updated?
How frequent an advisor updates your financial plan and communicates with you is different across the board. For example, if you prefer to be kept in the loop often, an advisor who only meets with clients annually may not be your best bet. You want an advisor just as involved as you. The more involved they are with your life and finances, the more prepared they are to invest and plan for your success.
How much control do I have?
Unfortunately, there are financial advisors who driven only by money and may not have your best interests at heart. Especially as a woman, know it is important to know how much control you have over your money, and how easy it is to make changes if you do not agree with it.
How are you paid?
Be honest, this can be awkward to discuss. Statistically speaking, women can be more skeptical of advisors handling money. Although it may be uncomfortable to ask, it is important to know. The fee or commissions should match how they create value for you and compare to the overall industry. Be sure to do your own research prior or after the meeting is over to see if they are comparable to other financial advisors.
Think of this as an interview process. It should be extensive, so you do not get taken advantage of. This is for you, do not be afraid to speak your mind or ask uncomfortable questions to have a full understanding, Always ask ‘why?’ to every answer to get more in depth of an answer and thus a better understanding.
Remember, this is someone you are entrusting with your finances and going to have in your life for years. It is important you know what kind of person they are personally and professionally. Keep in mind, this should not be a stressful experience. Look around! Do not settle with the first advisor you meet, without taking careful consideration or doing your research.
If you are looking for a financial advisor team focused on your unique financial situation, communicates openly, and that puts you and your goals at the center of the relationship, call us at (480) 507-2425 or contact us online. We’d love to meet you.
Alexis Stigers is a Non-Registered Associated Person with Voya Financial Advisors. Alexis cannot offer securities or advisory services.
The content in this article was prepared by the article’s author. Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. does not endorse its content, and the views expressed may not necessarily reflect those held by Voya Financial Advisors, Inc.