Choosing a financial advisor is an important decision, as he or she will play a critical role in helping you achieve both your personal and financial goals. When considering a fee-only financial advisor, there are a few key questions you should ask to ensure you find the right advisor for you.
What services do you offer?
Some advisors specialize in investment management, while others may focus on retirement planning, estate planning, or tax planning. At Core Wealth Management, we take a comprehensive approach to wealth management, seeking to integrate all aspects of one’s financial situation. This is critical as each decision you make impacts others. For example,
- Where you save your money and the types of investments you make will impact your tax situation.
- How you raise the cash you need to fund your cash needs in retirement may impact how much of your social security is taxed or what your Medicare premiums are.
- If you choose to save for your children’s college or paydown your mortgage instead of saving to your workplace retirement plan, your retirement goals may be compromised.
Working with an advisor who understands the intricate web of financial planning decisions will help you make informed, educated decisions. We believe that financial planning is an ongoing process, it is not something you do once and set aside. Flexibility and balance are crucial and are both are incorporated into our plans.
How do you charge for your services?
Fee-only financial advisors may charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage of assets under management. At Core Wealth Management, we offer an initial complimentary consultation to assess your unique situation and then propose a fee structure that will be most cost-effective for you. No matter what compensation structure is ultimately right for you, at Core Wealth Management, we are only compensated directly by our clients; under no circumstances do we collect commissions or kickbacks of any kind.
What is your investment philosophy?
When you are looking for an investment advisor, it is important that you share a similar perspective when it comes to investing. At Core Wealth Management, we have a single core investment philosophy that we adhere to, no matter how much money one may have. We do not make promises regarding investment performance or returns because those are promises we cannot keep – after all, we have no control over how the markets will perform. What we do is devise investment strategies, based on research and grounded in academic evidence, that are designed to capture the returns the markets have to offer. We believe that markets are unmatched in their ability to process and integrate information and that they represent the collective of wisdom of investors worldwide.
What experience and qualifications do you have?
The professionals at Core Wealth Management have their Certified Financial Planner™ designations, among others. Additionally, we are affiliated with a CPA firm, SchanelCPA, which enables us to provide ongoing tax planning for our clients. Advisors at Core Wealth Management are members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) as well as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).
Can you provide references or testimonials?
At Core Wealth Management, we are happy to introduce you to existing clients who can share the experiences they have had working with us. We work with a wide range of clients – some who are just starting out and want to make sure that they are forming good habits and preparing themselves for what the future holds and others who are retired and want to be sure they have adequate resources to support them for the rest of their lives.
When looking for an advisor, one of the most important considerations is chemistry. You need to feel comfortable with the advisor you choose to work with and confident that you can ask questions and get honest, well-thought-out answers. You need to feel like you are being heard, not judged and you need to believe that the advisor is there for you, is proactive in identifying opportunities, is responsive to your needs and above all else, is genuine. While anyone can answer questions to check off certain boxes, chemistry is either there or it is not and many times, that will be the deciding factor on which advisor is right for you.