18 Powerful Questions To Ask a Financial Advisor in the First Meeting

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You’ve met the advisor…

Now it’s time to ask the important questions! 

It’s your money, so you need to feel at ease when opening up about your financial situation. Here are some great ‘get-to-know-you questions that will help build rapport and ensure you’re in safe hands.

Why Hire A Financial Advisor in the First Place?

Let’s face it—most of us don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to managing our own finances. And even if you are a financial whiz, it’s vitally important to learn how to delegate responsibility and trust someone else with your life savings.

Financial advisors help us maximize our potential by teaching us better practices when it comes to handling finances.

Anyone can benefit from professional financial advice. And it’s not just the wealthy who hire financial advisors— many middle-class folks consider seeking out professional help when making important financial decisions.

There are few different types of advisors for you to choose from: stockbrokers (who advise on investments), insurance agents (who sell policies and annuities), or private bankers (who work at investment banks). Each one serves a specific function in your life.

What should I expect at my first financial advisor meeting?

At your first meeting, a financial advisor will want to know you: the type of investor you are, your knowledge and experience level, investment preferences (e.g., stock vs. bond index funds), and goals.

They may ask several questions about how you make decisions about money and what is important to you in the long run–like retirement, college funding, or leaving an inheritance for loved ones.

Your financial advisor will also want to learn more about your current investments and use that information as part of your planning process with them. Your advisor can then compare where you stand with where you’re trying to go and recommend ways for making up any gaps between them.

You’ll need time to consider all your options, so don’t feel pressured to make a major decision on the spot.

How to prepare well for your first meeting with the financial Advisor

Ask these questions to know your problems better

  • Am I choosing the best investment schemes?
  • Am I clear on where to invest my money to get better returns in the short term and long term?
  • Am I managing my finance well in spite of my busy work/ other issues?
  • Am I saving enough money to achieve my financial goals?
  • Am I able to project the results of my savings and investments correctly?
  • Am I sure on how much to save for my retirement?
  • Am I well prepared for a happy retirement?

Keep a Goal List


When you’re looking for an advisor that’s right for your situation, it can be helpful to ask yourself: “What are my goals?”

Know what you want to do short-term as well as long-term.

  • Building wealth
  • To buy a house
  • Meet medical cost
  • Better investment [lans
  • Early retirement/retirement planning
  • Pay child’s education fee
  • Better insurance plans

Here are 18 powerful questions to ask a financial advisor in the first meeting

1. What is your legal compliance with the profession?

This is important. A fiduciary is legally bound to act in your best interest and must always give you the right advice.

All advisors, investment advisors, and broker-dealers must be fiduciary by law; otherwise, they cannot claim to provide advice for retirement plans, insurance, or any other savings and investing vehicle.

Know if your financial planner follows the code of ethics and professional laws strictly.

If you are not 100% certain that your advisor is a fiduciary, do NOT work with them.

2. Tell me about your firm

A financial advisor’s company reputation is a good thing to learn about in your first meeting.

You can read reviews on Google or their website testimonials. It’s also worth checking the content there and how it is oriented towards its audience.


3. How do you make money as a financial advisor?

That’s a great question, especially if you’re trying to weed out someone that’s after your money instead of being there for you when you need advice.

A good financial advisor will have an answer that goes a little bit beyond, “Well, I get a commission for selling you the product.”

4. What types of accounts do you offer?

Make sure you can open a brokerage account, retirement plan with the advisor of your choice.

5. What is your process for helping clients?

The best ones provide a road map or game plan that outlines what they will do for clients over time. They should indicate specific goals and the timing of those actions.

6. What is your Investment philosophy?

Investment strategies and beliefs also differ from person to person.

While one investor may be content with low-risk, moderate return investments, another investor might be more comfortable taking on more risk in exchange for a higher potential return.

Knowing the financial advisor’s investment philosophy can help you determine if you’re on the same page regarding your investing goals and risk tolerance.

7. How do you keep up with the changing landscape?

The industry is always shifting, and a good advisors will keep themselves on top of new developments.

First, it allows them to stay competitive and be a more valuable resource for clients. Second, it keeps advisors on top of potential threats or disruptions in their specialty area (e.g., the rise of Robo-investing could prove threatening towards many financial advisors specializing in investment management).

Also, ask about whether they have formal training or certifications through an association or other educational institute (such as CFP, CFA) and how often they update this knowledge.

8. Do you have alternative sources of income?

You may be surprised to see this; yes, some people do financial planning in addition to their primary work.

9. How Long have you been a financial advisor?

If the advisor has been in this role for less than one year, I would be wary.

If there is no track record, you must rely more on soft factors like personality and training.

10. Will there be other advisors who can back up your services?

Your financial planner may temporarily or permanently go out of your region/country or even out of the company. They may face an unexpected hospitalization or death.

Know-how will you get the service in those cases. It’s advisable to make sure you have a contingency plan for the period without the financial advisor.

11. Are you a financial planner, Financial advisor, or both?

Depending on your needs, you can either hire a financial planner or a financial advisor. 

Some financial advisors know how to do both, but hiring a specialist is better if you only focus on one aspect. Always exercise caution, as past performance doesn’t always translate to similar future results.

12. How will our relationship work?

How often should we meet? How will you communicate with me? How do I get in touch with you? Will I have questions, and if so, what is your preferred method for communicating questions and receiving answers?

The financial advisor/client relationship can be a delicate one.

The client wants to feel the advisor has their best interest at heart — but they also want to know that there is an open line of communication that allows questions and concerns to be addressed quickly and accurately. This conversation sets the tone for how the rest of your relationship will work.

13. What designations do you have?

A financial badge signifies that its bearer has completed requirements concerning their job.

They are not easy to get or maintain. 

Oftentimes, these designations require always being updated and consistent with newer practices of their specialization. Here are some designations you may be interested in:

  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC): These advisors underwent studies and exams while also displaying prowess through work experience. It encompasses a broad understanding of the financial world, making them versed in many topics.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): An advisor with a CFA designation is considered a financial expert. It means they have proven their ability to create sound investment decisions. They strictly follow a code of ethics and are some of the best people you can find for investments.
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): To get this designation, an advisor must pass an exam, undergo a program, and log in experience. As a CFP, they are accredited financial planning experts. They must also continue to undergo studies to maintain the designation.

14. Why did you choose this career?

This question gets the conversation flowing and shows you if your advisor is passionate about their career (which is a good sign). Also, this might allow you to learn new information.

15. Who are your usual clients?

Ask them to show you their client profile and experience.

By doing so, you will know how comfortable the financial planner is with clients and know about the work. You can ask the financial advisor for a client reference similar to you to better understand the plan and its process.

16. Has your work been acknowledged/ published in leading Media Channels?

This will prove their reliability.

17. And, have you won any professional awards/ accolades?

This will prove their credibility.

18. How did you adjust your plans during the pandemic?

This question is a great way of seeing how up-to-date they are with some of the current news.

You want someone in tune with what’s going on and can take advantage of different opportunities that might arise.

They should be as well informed about the economy as possible but still know how to balance it out with other aspects of their financial plan, not just blowing all their money on stocks just because they’re at an all-time low.

saving money 2

Warning Sign

If a financial advisor starts talking about investments straight away without getting any background info on you, it’s best to look elsewhere.

They might be selling items that are in their own interests rather than yours.

Tip: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

What is their educational background? How long have they been in business? You need to make sure that they can clearly answer all questions without hesitation.

Before starting your relationship with a financial advisor, make sure to set clear expectations as to what they will provide for you.

Additionally, do not be afraid to ask for references or even contact clients directly yourself!

When it comes to your wealth, do your due diligence – don’t make any rash decisions based on what you’ve read here or elsewhere.

Get more tips in this book, “The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know.” Get real advice on taking control and making decisions for your own financial future.

Next Step: Financial Planning for a better future

Don’t let fear hold you back from seeking help from an expert.

Many are familiar with the feeling of not knowing where to begin when it comes to managing their money. If you want to better plan and reach your goals sooner, we offer a 30-minute complimentary consultation with our financial advisors for FREE. Financial advisors don’t charge professional fees for consultation.

You can freely question us more than what we told you here to know more about us.

Have you ever had a financial advisor meeting? What was your experience like? Comment below


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