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Smart tips: what to ask your financial advisor

Aug 26 2018 18:45
Carin Smith

It would be wise to "do your homework" before you decide on the financial advisor you will entrust the planning of your future to, says Daphne Rampersad of investment planning at Liberty.

She provides some smart tips on what to ask a financial advisor before you decide which one to use.


Ask what his or her credentials or qualifications are.

"With any profession - for instance a medical doctor - surely you would not go to see him or her without checking if he or she is a good doctor. The same approach should be followed when choosing a financial advisor," says Rampersad.

She suggests going to a financial advisor who is also a fiduciary specialist. That means he or she can make recommendations on your behalf.


Ask how he or she charges for services rendered.

"You want to ascertain the total fees that will be charged and whether there are any hidden or non-transparent fees," says Rampersad.


Ask if you could see a copy of a sample financial plan by the advisor.

The reason to obtain this is so that you can get a sense of how thorough or how brief the kind of work the particular financial advisor does, is.

Ask what type of clients he or she has and what he or she specialises in.

You want to know what makes his client value-proposition unique and whether you can identify with these.


Ask how he or she measures success. This is to identify whether he can get the job done.

Success should mean reaching your financial goals over the short and long-term, says Rampersad.

Ask how much contact he or she has with clients and if you will work with him or her only or with a whole team.

This is to gage the level of contact you will have with the financial adviser. It forms part of the process of building trust with him or her.

Ask what happens in the event his or her client becomes incapacitated.

Who will ensure your wishes and dreams in terms of estate planning are fulfilled?

Succession plan

Ask what his or her succession plan is. This is to ensure reaching your goals and objectives do take place.

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