Knowing which questions to ask a wealth advisor will save you time, effort, and money. There are many factors to consider when you’re looking for financial advisory firms in Boston, such as the firm’s history and ownership structure, a typical client experience, financial services offered, investment approach, the culture and people, and how fees are determined. Think carefully about your own priorities and needs, and the outcomes you expect. With a thoughtful and engaged advisor, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised at what could be accomplished.
To help you find the right advisor in 2022 – and avoid hiring the wrong one – here are 5 questions we think you should be asking.
1. Who is your ideal client and how many clients do you have?
You should have a clear understanding of the types of clientele that your financial advisor typically works with: Couples? Individuals? Families saving for education? Multi-generational families looking for financial and family stewardship? It’s also important to know if an advisor provides planning and financial advisory needs if that is applicable to you and your situation.
You may also wonder how many clients the advisor works with – and the experience of these clients. There’s no right or wrong answer to this, but it may uncover the relationship team you would anticipate working with.
Ultimately you want to feel comfortable with this individual or team to build upon a productive
relationship. Understanding if your situation, needs and priorities align with their ideal client can be beneficial for you.
2. What’s the biggest problem you have solved for a client, and perhaps their family?
By asking this question, you should be able to understand how an advisor works with a client and their family and what the typical client experience tends to feel. You may also be able to decipher how an advisor works with their colleagues or other advisors outside of the firm: is there a collaboration and do you want that to be part of your experience to solve a complex problem? It’s also important to know that not all problems are seemingly financial, but in many situations money can be a factor. An advisor that is truly engaged and aware of a client’s lifestyle, priorities, and goals should be able to provide the comprehensive advice and problem-solving skills that are most relevant to you – and within a suitable time frame.
3. What experience and credentials do you have to navigate the complex world of financial
planning and wealth management?
Experience can be measured in years, but asking an advisor about what brought them into the position or motivates them can be just as important. You may also ask about the educational background, professional qualifications, and credentials. Many advisors and investment professionals hold designations such as Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). These professionals must pass a series of examinations and standards.
4. What is your investment philosophy and how do you manage a client’s investments?
Inquiring about your financial advisor’s investment philosophy and process is an important way to understand how they manage financial accounts in the short and or long-term. You may want to know how the macro environment is assessed, asset allocation is determined, investments are selected (and sold), tax-sensitivity for a strategy, and who ultimately provides the oversight. No question is a bad question when it comes to understanding an advisory firm’s investment approach, and it is important you feel comfortable with it.
5. What is a fiduciary and what does that ultimately mean to a client and their experience?
A fiduciary is required by law to provide a duty of loyalty and care, which means that the advisor must put their client’s interests above their own. Registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) have a
fiduciary duty to clients, while broker-dealers have to meet the less-stringent suitability standard which doesn’t require putting the client’s interests ahead of their own. There is quite a difference between these types of advisors, and one that should not be taken lightly when deciding with whom to work with. Importantly, an RIA is not motivated by commissions and must do their best to make sure investment advice is made using accurate and complete information.
Prio Wealth: A Trusted Wealth Advisory Firm in Boston
With these questions in mind, and the confidence to ask them, you should be able to identify a wealth advisor that can greatly assist you in assessing, managing, and optimizing your financial
At Prio Wealth, we know that choosing the right wealth advisory firm in Boston can be emotional and complex. Our unique approach to client management through proprietary engagement tools, financial planning expertise, and focused investment strategy enables us to have structured yet powerful conversations with clients. Contact us today to talk about your financial life management needs.
This document has been prepared by Prio Wealth LP (“Prio Wealth”) for informational and educational purposes only and not as investment, legal or tax advice. This document reflects the opinions of Prio Wealth and it is based on information that we believe to be reliable at the time of publication. However, Prio Wealth does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of any sourced data. Opinions expressed herein are not intended to provide personal advice and do not take into account the unique investment objectives and financial situation of the reader. This document is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security and does not constitute a representation as to the suitability or appropriateness of any security or financial product. Prio Wealth cautions the reader that investments in securities involve risks and that past results are not indicative of any future performance.