Good news! November is Financial Literacy Month, when Canadians are encouraged to “invest in their financial well-being [by] taking control of their finances and reducing financial stress.”

That sounds right to me. In fact, I and the rest of my team here at PWL Capital believe every month is a good month to embrace financial literacy. That’s one reason we’ve been releasing “No Dumb Questions” (NDQ) videos twice monthly for the past two years, beginning in (you guessed it) November 2016.

To commemorate this year’s Financial Literacy Month, we’ve decided to rebroadcast some of our favorite NDQ videos out of the archives. It was hard to choose just one, so we’ll revisit five Best of NDQ releases during the next several weeks.

Before we get going, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel or connect with me on LinkedIn to round out your year-round financial literacy. I’ve got plenty of new NDQs in the queue.

Let’s begin by clarifying: Being in control of your finances does NOT mean you have to go it alone. But it does mean you’ll want to know what questions to ask a potential advisor, so you can determine whether they’re right for you.

That’s why one of my favorite NDQs was a two-part release, offering nine key questions to use when interviewing financial advisors. Here are the first four “qualifying” questions for eliminating the least-qualified candidates for the job:

1. What are your credentials?

Just as you wouldn’t hire an apprentice to be your general contractor, you can quickly weed out advisor applicants who simply don’t have the chops for the job. Check out my video for a summary of some of the key financial degrees and licenses to look for.

2. What services do you provide?

Is your would-be advisor offering independent advice about your total financial interests … or are they mostly just a salesperson, stocked with the usual commission-based products? Again, check out my video to see how you can tell the difference.

3. How much am I paying?

If you’re uncomfortable talking about costs, or the advisor is dismissive when answering this question, consider this a red flag, even if (in fact, especially if), the candidate is also a friend or family member.

4. How are you paid?

Besides understanding how much you’re paying, it’s imperative to find out the sources of compensation involved. Once again, you’ll find out more about this in today’s Best of NDQ video.

With just these four key questions, you should be better equipped to eliminate the weakest players in an initial round. From there, you can start asking more probing questions to narrow the selection further. Stick around for the next Best of NDQ installment, when I’ll share five more questions you can use in your “find an advisor” championship. To be notified once that’s available, be sure to subscribe to my channel, and click on that bell.