In my last “No Dumb Questions,” I turned the tables on my usual format and posed four questions YOU can ask to find an MVP advisor for your financial game … Today, I’ve got five more questions you can ask, to narrow down your choices to a final champion … a lot like we’re doing here at this year’s Golf Canada and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. Hey, if I’ve not managed to go pro myself with my golf game, I can at least be very proud that Team Graham is an event sponsor!

Now, let’s get into the swing for part 2 of what you can ask potential advisors. And let me know what other “No Dumb Questions” might be on your mind!

When you meet with prospective advisors and you’re considering entrusting them with your hard-earned wealth, there are a few upfront questions you can pose to weed out the weakest ones.

Questions like:

  1. Are you qualified for the position to begin with?
  2. Are your services right for me?
  3. And is your pricing fair and transparent?

These are good questions to ask during an initial round of elimination.

From there, it’s worth finding out more. Beyond the basics of whether they seem to be an appropriate solution in general, here are five more questions you can use to determine whether they’re the best fit for YOU and your unique needs.

What’s your client experience like?

If your “job applicant” makes the first cut, it’s time to start digging deeper to ensure you’re compatible with one another for the long haul. What sort of client experience would you prefer? Warm and cozy, or polished and reserved? Frequent or periodic? Tightly structured or loosey-goosey? If you thrive in one environment and the advisor is offering another, the divide may be too wide to work.

What’s your investment strategy? Is it firm-wide or “just you”?

As I’ve covered in past videos, I’m a long and strong proponent of “passive” or “evidence-based” investing. [link to “How do markets work?”] So is everyone else at PWL Capital.. How clearly an advisor can describe a firm-wide strategy for investing your money seems well worth understanding before you sign any bottom lines.

What does your ideal client look like?

Odds are, you have specialized financial interests. Maybe you’re a business owner, or maybe you have inherited real estate or you have family members with special needs. Whatever your personal profile looks like, your ideal CFO should have an interest in and experience at working with people like you.

What’s your succession plan?

Speaking of succession plans, does the advisor have one in place, just in case? And does the designated successor embrace a consistent approach, to ensure continuity for you and your family wealth?

Why should I work with you?

On the final round, it makes sense to wrap with an open-ended question to give the “applicant” a chance to point out any details you may want to know about but didn’t know to ask. Listen carefully to how the advisor responds to this question. Do they use it as an opportunity to explore and address your needs and interests? Or do they trot out a stale elevator speech that’s all about themselves? Sometimes what is left unsaid is as critical as what is spoken!

So there you have it. Nine questions to help you find a champion financial advisor for your wealth management team. If that still doesn’t bring you down to a final winner, perhaps you could add a few questions about whether their golf swing is on target. By the way, even though it’s best to avoid a hook or a slice in your own game, I hope you’ll connect with me by subscribing to No Dumb Questions … and take a swing at that bell while you’re at it.