Questions to Ask Financial Planner: A Useful Guide? PillarWM

A competent financial planner can assist you in plenty of ways. For instance, they can help you in creating strategies for minimizing financial risks and growing wealth over the long term. Financial planners can give you a comprehensive plan that gets you on track to accomplish your financial goals. In simple words, these professionals can help you with everything from saving for retirement to creating estate plans that ensure your wealth and assets are tax-efficiently transferred to your beneficiaries. However, hiring a financial planner isn’t an easy task! In fact, it’s an important decision that you should only make after you’ve conducted comprehensive research, met with them and asked them some questions to ask financial planner. For in-depth information about the questions, you should ask your potential financial planner, read our guide for investors worth $10 million or more.

Pillar Wealth Management is an independent wealth management firm that provides exclusive services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals. Our team of financial planners helps families and individuals who have liquid assets worth between $5 million and $500 million in accomplishing their financial goals in the best possible way. With our astute understanding of industry and market data, along with a combined experience of over six decades, we create customized financial strategies that best meet our clients’ needs. To start working on your tailored financial plan, head over to our website to schedule a free meeting with one of our financial planners.

How Much Money Must I Have Before Meeting A Financial Planner?

Working with a financial planner comes at a cost. If you wish to hire a financial planner, the primary thing you need to consider is your net worth. When you get the answer to “how much money must I have before meeting a financial planner?” you can weigh the benefits and drawbacks of working with a financial planner to manage and secure your wealth.

As mentioned earlier, financial planners offer a variety of services. If you want a financial planner who can help you with tax management, you don’t really have to account for the value of wealth and assets you have. Nevertheless, if you want to work with a financial planner who offers wealth management services, then it’s essential for you to carry out a cost-benefit analysis.

questions to ask financial plannerUsually, most wealth managers cater to families and individuals who have a net worth of at least $1 million to $5 million. If you fall in this category, we strongly recommend hiring a financial advisor to help you with financial planning.

At Pillar Wealth Management, we only take clients who have minimum liquid investable assets worth $5 million. Our financial planning services are developed to facilitate the affluent to successfully attain their wealth and retirement planning targets. We have expertise in offering the following financial planning services:

• Cash flow planning

• Balance sheet optimization

• Retirement income planning

• Wealth transfer

• Pre and post liquidity planning

• Risk management.

Before we move ahead, we would like to suggest you read, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net-worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million. Doing so will give you a clearer picture of how working with a financial planner can help to preserve and grow your wealth.

How to Hire A Financial Planner?

Hiring a financial planner is just the same as recruiting a chief financial officer for your firm. You need to take concrete steps to identify a profession you can trust and work with for many years.

Thus, if you’re contemplating how to hire a financial planner, here is the protocol you need to follow. For more details regarding this topic, feel free to read our comprehensive guide on choosing the best financial advisor.

Step #1 – Get Information About the Different Types of Services they Offer

While some financial planners can help you manage your taxes, they might not offer estate planning services. Others may offer estate planning but not comprehensive insurance planning.

Moreover, specific financial planners are skilled in developing retirement income plans for those who are near retirement. Alternatively, others have expertise in philanthropic planning for those who feel strongly about social issues.

To make sure that you choose the best financial planner for your requirements, you need to determine the type of financial advice you need and the services a financial planner can offer. Here’s a brief explanation of some services that most financial usually provide:

– Tax Planning:Financial planners often guide their clients through various tax-related issues. They can also identify ways to minimize your tax burden and maximize your tax refunds. Some financial advisors may also be able to actually help you with preparing your taxes and filing your yearly taxes.

– Estate Planning:Estate planning aims to make things simpler for your loved ones after you pass away. For instance, a financial planner offering estate planning services may prepare a will. Estate planning can also help you prepare for any estate tax that may be levied on you.

– Retirement Income Planning:Every individual, regardless of their net worth, has to retire someday. Retirement income planning services help you plan for that day and the life that comes after it. They make sure that you have sufficient wealth to live the lifestyle you want even after you have retired. Don’t forget to peruse our guide, Improving Portfolio Performance, and learn how you can invest in a manner that helps you accomplish your retirement goals.

– Investment Planning:Even though financial planning doesn’t involve actual management of your assets, it can still assist you with your investment portfolio by charting out how much you need to invest and in which specific investments.

– Budgeting:This is probably the basis of financial planning. A financial planner can ensure that you’re spending the appropriate amount based on your income and can also ensure that you don’t go into debt.

 

Step #2 – Gather A Few Names

When searching for a financial planner, you can surely get some names from a phone book or search the internet. However, the best way to go is to get suggestions from colleagues, friends, and family members. Ask high net worth or ultra-high net worth individuals in your circle for names of financial planners they’ve worked with in the past. After you’ve gathered 4 to 5 names, look them up on Google.

Another excellent place to start is by looking at the big industry associates. The Financial Planning Association and The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors have tools such as Planner Search and Find An Advisor, where you can look up financial planners who can successfully serve your financial goals.

Step #3 – Look Up Financial Planners with the Appropriate Credentials

All credentials are different. Some organizations create certifications that can be easily obtained for a fee so that salespeople can get them and give the impression of being an expert.

To hire a financial planner with reputable credentials, look for a professional who has their CFP or PFS designation. Credentials, such as these that are secured after clearing an exam, signify expertise in a particular area. To maintain a title, a financial planner must abide by a specified code of ethics and keep up with any additional educational requirements.

Lastly, check if your potential financial planner is listed on The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, a group containing the names of financial planners who work on a fee-only basis. To be a member of this group, one needs to have ongoing education that exceeds the essential credentials.

Step #4 – Carry Out A Comprehensive Background Check

Before you pick a financial planner, you need to do some homework to make sure you’re picking the right individual to manage your wealth. This is even more necessary for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals who own assets worth millions of dollars.

Fortunately, the industry makes this step relatively easy by making the backgrounds of financial planners available to search. You can look for financial planners on BrokerCheck whichwhere you can check for their experience in the industry and see if they’ve had any consumer complaints or regulatory issues.

Moreover, suppose the financial planner you pick is a CFP. In that case, the organization offers a search tool that you use to confirm their status and determine if they have any disciplinary history or bankruptcies.

Questions to Ask Financial Planner and How You Should Prepare?

Apart from doing your homework, it’s also highly advisable that you meet a shortlisted financial planner, either in-person or over a video call before you officially hire them.

Bear in mind that this a professional from whom you will get financial advice and will likely work for many years in the future. Hence, you must have a complete understanding of how they conduct their business and ensure that you’re fully equipped with their approach and style. Visit our website to book a free meeting with our team at Pillar Wealth Management.

So, if you’re thinking, what do I need before meet a financial planner, read ahead to get your answer.

1 – Understand Your Existing Financial Circumstances

Hiring a financial planner is one of the most crucial decisions you can take as a high net worth or ultra-high net worth individual. The more detailed information you can give regarding your current financial circumstances, the better service you can get.

To get detailed insight regarding your financial circumstances, start by noting down all your assets (cash, investments in real estate, gold, stocks, bonds, etc.) and liabilities (loans, debt, mortgages, etc.). A complete picture of your financial standing will allow your financial planner to devise a holistic financial plan for you. 

2 – Map Out Your Financial Objectives

The next thing you need to do is make a list of what you want to achieve in your financial life. As an affluent individual, you might want to spend a hassle-free retirement, set up a charity organization, purchase a luxury home, etc.

A financial planner can help you realize your goals, given that you have clarity about them. Before meeting with a financial planner, make sure you have a set of well-defined financial goals. We highly suggest you read our guide to learn about the five paradigm shifts you need to make to get the highest investment performance and bring your financial goals to life.

3 – Ask Questions

The first meeting is a great chance for you to ask any questions that you may have regarding financial planning. Asking questions will help to resolve any doubts and allow you to determine if the professional is sufficiently skilled to fulfill your requirements. Here is a list of questions that you can ask your financial planner in the introductory meeting.

How Do You Get Compensated

Financial planners use various methods to charge clients. You can choose between commissioned, fee-based, and fee-only planners. Either way, you need to know precisely what you’re getting yourself into. For instance, fee-only planners might charge an annual retainer or a flat rate. Sometimes they charge clients by the hour or charge a percentage, which is usually 1% to 2% of a client’s assets under management (AUM).

At Pillar Wealth Management, we operate on a purely fee-only basis to ensure that there aren’t any conflict of interests. Click here to speak to our team of fee-only financial planners today!

What Financial Planning Services Do You Offer and How Often Do You See Your Clients?

There’s a major difference between tax preparation and tax planning. The same goes for retirement planning and insurance planning. Needless to say, you need to ensure the kind of services you will get from a particular planner and then ensure that they aligned with the help you need.

Other questions you can ask include what type of clients you have previously worked with, how many years of experience do you have, etc. Find out more questions you can ask a financial advisor in our guide for investors worth $10 million or more.

Final Thoughts

Identifying and choosing the best financial planners is a task that requires plenty of time and effort – it isn’t something you can do without comprehensive research.

At Pillar Wealth Management, our expert financial advisors have over thirty years of experience in efficiently assisting wealthy clients to reach financial serenity! So, why wait for a second more? Head over to our website today and get information about how we can help you accomplish your financial goals!

Authors

To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

You see, our goal is to only accept 17 new clients this year. Clients who have from $5 million to $500 million in liquid investable assets to entrust us with on a 100% fee basis. No commissions and no products for sale.

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