What to ask your wealth advisor

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Hey, Money Scoop! I’m setting up meetings with a few different wealth advisors to start seriously planning for my retirement (outside of my company’s 401(k) options) and my family’s future. I’m curious what the Scoop says are the questions “to ask” when dating and a financial advisor?—Hike in retirement

My first “inescapable” question is for you. What services can a financial advisor provide that you cannot manage yourself?

It’s not a far-fetched question, by the way, so all of you Scoopers who were about to send angry emails informing us that financial advisors provide many high quality services, thank you very much! can delete your drafts.

It’s a legitimate question, and answering it will help you understand what to ask potential financial advisors.

A question might be “How can I save money for retirement outside of my company’s 401(k) options?” That’s a great question, but you don’t need to pay a financial advisor to answer it. I answered it earlier this month, for free.

Another question might be “How can I maximize my assets in order to pass them on to future generations?” It’s really a question of when to focus on growth and when to focus on maintenance, but some people confuse it with a question of what stocks to buy. You used the term “wealth advisor”, which suggests that you have some wealth; I’m not a wealth advisor, but it’s pretty obvious the economy isn’t in a growth state right now (bear market, high inflation) which means it might be a good time to focus on maintaining what you have.

When you hire a financial advisor, you pay them to take care of your wealth management. Don’t pay anyone money until you know How? ‘Or’ What you want your assets to be managed.

Which brings us back to the “inescapable” question: What services do you want your financial advisor to provide that you cannot do yourself?

Don’t hold any meetings until you have the answer.

Also, make sure your advisor is a fiduciary.—Nicole Dieker, Money Scoop guest columnist


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