Odyssey Group » Articles » Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor – Part 2

Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor – Part 2

by | Aug 15, 2023

The first article in our series on questions to ask a financial advisor explored compensation and standard of care. This article will discuss the scope of the services to be provided and the qualifications you should look for in a financial advisor.

What services does the advisor provide and what type of service can be expected?

You want to find an advisor who can offer all the services you need. Some advisors focus solely on managing money, while others might only create retirement plans. Others may only work with retirees, which might not fit your needs as a young business owner. Knowing what services you need – retirement planning, estate and legacy planning, education planning, or money management – will help you find the right advisor. However, once the initial relationship has been formed, what kind of follow-up can be expected? Is the advisor obligated to periodically check-in?

The Odyssey Group is committed to providing comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services to individuals and families. Our services range from education and retirement planning to more complex legacy and estate planning. We follow-up with our clients at least on an annual basis (usually more often, based on their needs) to review their accounts and situation. Our clients have an open line of communication to our staff and advisors by calling, emailing, or scheduling a meeting with questions or concerns at any time.

What qualifications does the advisor have?

At a minimum, all advisors must be licensed to conduct business, whether it is with their state, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or with the Financial Industry Regulator Authority (FINRA). If your advisor isn’t licensed, it is a non-starter and serious red flag! Next, look for industry experience. How long has the advisor been in the business? A general rule of thumb is to work with an advisor who has at least 5 years of experience or works with a team of experienced advisors. Lastly, what type of effort has the advisor taken to continue to grow their knowledge base as a financial advisor? The Certified Financial Planner designation (CFP®) is considered the gold standard in financial planning.

The Odyssey Group’s advisors all hold graduate degrees in business and economics, Series 7 and 66 registrations, the CFP® designation, and have the benefit of unique experience from roles across the financial sector.

If your current or prospective advisor can’t answer these questions with confidence and to your satisfaction, it is probably time to move on. We’d be happy to discuss our philosophy and how we work with our clients. Please contact us here.