QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR

| March 31, 2020
Share |

Thank you for scheduling an Introduction Call.  The focus of the call will be to understand your financial situation and determine if there is a fit to work together.  My preference is for you to do most of the talking, so I have provided a list of typical questions prospective clients ask below to understand more about our firm. 

Do you operate as a fiduciary all of the time?
YES, we always act in the best interest of our clients at all times. We must be transparent with all of our fees. We are not dually registered like most brokers in the community. Most brokers have two hats a "fiduciary" one and a "suitable investment one." It is their decision if they are going to act in your best interest or recommend a more expensive investment because it will provide a bigger payout for them. It is all hard to know what the exact fees with a broker are because they do not have to disclose that information.

SIDE NOTE: Always ask this question of any financial advisor on any transaction and be sure you fully understand their answer. If you don't then leave.

Are you a good broker?
We are an advisor and not a broker, but of course the answer is yes, but there is another way to verify that. You can go to BrokerCheck website to see that our firm and the advisors have no infractions or have broken any regulations. Be sure you check that site for any financial advisor you speak with.

What exactly do you do for your clients?
We primarily provide two services for our clients: Investment Management and Financial Planning. The real benefit for clients is when we combine both services together to help clients achieve their financial goals. We have shown clients how to structure their investment portfolio to help pay down their debt. We have demonstrated the best strategy for taking Social Security or withdrawing money from their retirement accounts. Or, we have provided analysis to their CPA on how a ROTH account conversion can impact their taxes today, but save money in the long run.

Who manages my account?
Your account is managed LOCALLY by Bill and I. We select all investments and with the agreement by the client on how the asset allocation is set. Your investment decisions do not get shipped to St. Louis or New York. In regards to client meetings, we meet with some clients on a quarterly basis while others might just need a phone call once a year. It really is determined by the client's situation on the frequency of the meetings.

Who is your typical client?
We work with clients that want their investment portfolio managed by an experienced professional and desire assistance in financial and retirement planning. Our clients want to focus on the important things of life: Retirement, grandchildren, and golf. Our average client is someone between the ages of 50 -70 with a portfolio over $500,000 primarily in retirement accounts. However, we do have clients of all ages, backgrounds, locations, and net worths.

How are you compensated?
We are paid only by the client and we provide you an invoice of the fees that we charge. The amount we are paid is determined by the size and complexity of the client's accounts and their needs for financial planning. This is the only compensation that we receive, so that we can be impartial in our investment selection. We do not receive kickbacks from Charles Schwab, or a fund company like American Funds or Franklin Funds.

What is your investment philosophy?
We believe in active management of a client's portfolio through mainly passive index investments. What that means is we actively monitor your portfolio for opportunities to rebalance back to our target asset allocation. To see what we did with the recent downturn read this. However, we do not have to actively trade your portfolio each week or each month. There may be times that we do not trade for several months depending on the market situations. On the other hand, we are not a buy it and forget it type of an advisor. The market changes over time and so should your investments.

What type of investments do you use?
The best value for our clients is to use low cost diversified index funds through ETFs. They are pretty boring, but that is why we like them. We are able to know what our clients own so we don’t have to worry about an active fund significantly underperforming by a manager taking on extra risk. We still use some active mutual funds, but in a smaller percentage.

What asset allocation will you use?
We ask a lot of questions when meeting with prospective clients before we decide what percentage of your portfolio should be in stocks and what should be in bonds. Time horizon and size of portfolio is important, but also is financial goals and other assets that they own. Besides deciding who your advisor should be, this is one of the most important decisions that can be made. We make sure we have a good discussion with the client on this decision

Where are my accounts at?
Most of our clients have accounts with Charles Schwab.

How would I move my accounts to Oldfather Financial Services?
It is actually a very easy process to transfer investment accounts between different advisors. It typically just takes a signature and a current statement to transfer the account. You don't even have to call your broker. If you transfer a taxable account to Oldfather Financial Services, we will develop a tax plan with your tax preparer and you if any securities need to be sold.

We hope we provided answers to most of your questions. Click here to set up a 15 minute Introduction Phone Call.

Share |