10 Questions to Ask a Potential Financial Advisor

Your small business financial advisor assists you in maintaining a profitable business. This relationship only works, though, if you hire someone who is competent, trustworthy and likeable. Ask these 10 questions as you interview potential financial advisors.
  1. What are your qualifications?
    The right financial advisor will be educated and financially literate. Ask to see degrees and other qualifications that prove the financial advisor is capable of assisting you.

  2. Are you certified?
    Anyone can learn financial lingo. Be sure the financial advisor you hire is also certified to do the job, and ask to see the certification and any other credentials.

  3. Are you insured?
    Be sure the financial advisors you interview are currently licensed to offer financial advice. That license proves the financial advisor is in good standing in his or her field and provides liability protection.

  4. How often do you attend trainings?
    Two plus two will always equal four, but other details in the financial world change. Be sure financial advisors you interview attend trainings regularly to stay updated on trends.

  5. Do you have a contract?
    A handshake is not good enough in the business world. You and your financial advisor will need to sign a contract that outlines responsibilities, payment and other details of your relationship.

  6. How are you compensated?
    A financial advisor will be paid whether or not your business makes a profit. Find out upfront what the fees are and when payment is expected.

  7. How often are you willing to connect with me?
    You may not need to speak with your financial advisor every day, but you do need to communicate regularly. Find out how often the financial advisor is willing to meet with you and if he or she will answer email and phone calls promptly.

  8. What's the plan if something happens to you?
    If your financial advisor retires or is otherwise incapacitated, you want to know that your account is secure. Find out if there's someone else available for you to contact if this were to happen.

  9. Do you have a list of referrals?
    Always talk to others small business owners about potential financial advisors. Ask what they like about him or her, how often they meet and any pros and cons. With this information, you can decide if the person is a good fit for you.

  10. May I bring a friend?
    Ask someone you trust to sit in on interviews. This person can give you a second opinion and valuable insight that helps you make the best decision for your business.
Hiring a financial advisor is important for your small business's success. Ask these 10 questions as you choose the right advisor for you.
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