Author Topic: QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!  (Read 3323 times)

jpluncford21

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QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!
« on: October 09, 2012, 09:23:25 AM »
I should have tapped this resource earlier, but it slipped my mind. My company gives its employees a voucher for a free hour with a financial advisor. I've got an appointment today at 3 (it's 11:15 ET) and, being both cheap and nerdy, I've got my list of questions ready. What I'm hoping to get from you all is a little help on what questions I should be asking. A little background about me. I'm 27, new to investing, looking to retire in the next 10 to 15 years. My wife and I both work and we have a 9 month old. That should be enough background to give a general idea of what I need to be asking. All help is greatly appreciated. I will post his responses here this evening for all who are interested. I'll list the questions I have as of right now below for you to see.

1.What literature do you suggest for someone new to investing? Are there any bloggers or websites who’s philosophy or strategies that you follow or suggest?
2.What should I be doing in order to retire as early as possible?
3.For someone looking to live off investments as early as possible, how much should I be investing and where should it be going?
4.How should I be investing in my 401K? Which of the funds provided (I'll be giving him a list of the funds available through my employer) best supports my current investment needs?
5.What investment broker do you suggest and why? What firms have the lowest expense ratios?

Jarvis

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Re: QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 11:01:05 AM »
This financial advisor most likely operates in the world of folks working 9-5 until they're 60+, so he probably won't be a great resource for early early retirement advice.

Browsing your list of questions, it seems like you could answer most of those questions by reading blog posts.  For example,  "What investment broker do you suggest and why?  What firms have the lowest expense ratios?"  Vanguard has been mentioned here countless times as the go-to source for index funds with low expense ratios.  "What should I be doing in order to retire as early as possible?"  A huge amount of the posts on this blog are about spending less and saving more, so you can retire early.

Basically what I'm saying is, you've got the information available to you to become informed on all these subjects.  Ask this financial advisor anything you'd like, but what you really ought to do is take the initiative to educate yourself on all these topics.

twinge

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Re: QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 11:07:19 AM »
I second Jarvis, early retirement is likely going to be an alien concept.I would take the "general advice" from an adviser with a grain of salt.

 But I would ask a lot of questions about tax strategies, asset allocation, and investment options/fees to shift the conversation to getting some insights on nuances you might not know that the adviser might. 

inthebiz

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Re: QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 12:42:47 PM »
early retirement is not an alien concept for any advisor who's halfway decent. I'm an advisor and I work with early retirees all the time. What's unique is the age that you're beginning your planning, but that's it.

Know going into this meeting that the advisor has this arrangement with your company as a foot in the door to you. Any investment recommendations (and know he won't give you specifics) are going to be based on what his firm offers. Also know, any questions you ask are going to be answered to get you to spend more time with him. This isn't a bad thing, just trying to set your expectations. Also know you aren't limited to working only with this guy/girl.

Your questions are good, but the comments are correct in that if you think you're going to get clear direction and a plan in place for such an ambitious goal as yours from an hour with an advisor, you might be better off educating yourself. Now, if you're looking for an advisor's expertise and for someone who will help you meet your long term financial goals through investing, asking your questions and meeting with this advisor is a good first step.

Reach out to me if you have any questions.

Jarvis

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Re: QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 12:49:01 PM »
Any investment recommendations (and know he won't give you specifics) are going to be based on what his firm offers.

That is a very important point.

inthebiz

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Re: QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 10:22:26 AM »
How did the meeting go?

RadicalPersonalFinance

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Re: QUESTIONS FOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR - PLEASE ADD IN!
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 12:41:59 PM »
The key thing is lay out clearly what you're trying to achieve so that the advisor can help you.  It's actually incredibly refreshing when, as an advisor, you're able to spend time with clients who are willing to invest 50% of their income and you can help them with various tax strategies instead of spending time trying to convince a rank-and-file employee to put 1% of their income into a 401(k) and to pay off their credit card debt.