Key Interview Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

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Operating a business requires that you focus on the day-to-day activities while also looking at the future. This is sometimes a difficult balancing act, particularly when there are problems with the business that threaten to cause it to decline or even fail. The response to these stressful times though is too often one where the company becomes timid rather than bold, when bold is certainly what is needed.

In the area of finances, when there are problems or better yet from the very start, working with a financial advisor like Michael Briese can pay dividends. These professionals provide support and insight to business owners in an area that is critical to the success of the business. However, when you meet with a candidate to become your financial advisor, the questions you ask will ensure you pick the right candidate. Here are some key questions for you to ask candidates:

Are you well trained? 

When you interview a financial advisor get a clear understanding of the training they have in managing the money affairs of a company. This training should begin with a good formal education, a track record at working at companies that are successful and a commitment to continuing education that supports their knowledge of current financial trends and strategies. Many financial advisors have little or no track record and do not spend time keeping their training updated and as a result deliver bad our outdated information. If they have a lapse in any of these things it is not a good sign.

Is your financial advice good?

When you interview a financial advisor be prepared with a few scenarios of financial business cases that you want them to listen to and provide advice. This will give you a good indication of how they assess a situation and the type of advice they will provide for you. Use this opportunity to get them talking a lot about approaches and specific solutions that would put forward in order to make a financial difference in the scenario. Remember, you will be working closely with this person, make sure you like the answers you hear and just as importantly, the way they communicate those answers to you.

Do you have access to important tools and contacts?

The good financial advisors know of and use the top tools for financial management of your company. They recommend or demand that you utilize these tools as well because they promote efficiency and effectiveness. You should ask them what particular financial tools they use and will recommend for your company to adopt and why.

Further, good financial advisors have access to contacts who can help you to turnaround, grow or build your company’s positive financial status. These may include: stock brokers, accountants and tax planners, tax and investment attorneys and others who can really make a difference.

Can you make a successful financial plan for my company?

One primary area of focus for the financial planner is the future of your company and it is that person’s job to work with you to design a plan that leads you to a great financial future. This will require a person who is both knowledgeable and thorough in understanding you specific situation and needs today and years from now. The financial planner should also be highly organized and clear in communicating the plan.


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