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7 Questions To Ask Your Financial Advisor

Posted July 1, 2022

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When you want to get to know someone, what do you do? You ask them questions.

How someone answer’s a question can tell you a lot about a person. Are they confident? Are they knowledgeable? Are they unsure of themselves? Are they avoiding your question? Are they honest?

These characteristics of honesty, trustworthiness, confidence, knowledge, and transparency are all essential qualities when choosing the right financial advisor. But if you never ask questions, you may never find the answers you’re looking for.

To help you find the right financial advisor, we’ve put together a list of 7 questions you should ask your prospective financial advisor.

Are you a fiduciary?

First and foremost, find out if the prospective financial advisor is a fiduciary. As fiduciaries, we are legally obligated to work with your best interest in mind 100% of the time. By choosing to work with a fiduciary for your retirement planning, business planning, or investment strategies, you can rest assured you’re getting the right advice. Many advisors will claim to be fiduciaries, but unfortunately, they conflate being a good person with having a fiduciary duty… they are not the same, so make sure to get this in writing.

Do you receive any kickbacks or commissions based on products you sell?

Not all financial advisors work in your best interest. Unfortunately, many financial advisors push clients toward products, services, and strategies that help them make the biggest payday. Understanding how a financial advisor is paid or if they receive commissions, kickbacks, or other incentives based on the products and services they sell will help you know who’s in your corner.

At Thayer Financial, we are only paid through a direct and transparent fee for our services. This allows us to work solely in our client’s best interest instead of selling products to determine how we will be paid. Above all, working as a fee-only advisor provides transparency to the actual cost of advice and the service they are receiving.

What are your qualifications?

You have spent your lifetime building your savings, starting your business, and investing in all the right places, and now you’re seeing the fruits of your labor. This lifetime of work is not something you would hand over to a stranger, nor is it something you want to hand to someone unqualified.

Knowing your financial advisor is well-educated, on top of the ever-changing economic landscape, and is up to date on what’s current will give you peace of mind. I think the CFP® designation is a minimum standard for financial professionals you should be looking for in an advisor.

What types of services do you offer?

As your financial journey continues, you may want to work with a financial advisor who can help you with your retirement plan, investment strategies, estate planning, business valuation, business exit plan, and so much more.

Having an established relationship with someone you trust and having all of your finances managed by the same firm will make this a smoother process for you and your loved ones.

At Thayer Financial, we help clients with comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. Our philosophy is that an ongoing financial plan coupled with our investment management services results in the best value and outcome for our clients.

What is your investment philosophy?

When managing something as delicate and important as your finances, you’ll want to ensure you are on the same page as your financial advisor. Ask them about their approach to investing, play devil’s advocate, and understand their investment philosophy before signing on the dotted line.

Will I be able to get in touch with you if I need to access my funds?

You don’t want to work with a financial advisor who is impossible to get a hold of and doesn’t return phone calls, texts, or emails.

If you have questions about your portfolio, need to change your retirement plan, or want to schedule a meeting to review your investment strategy, you’ll want to work with someone responsive and open to meeting with you.

At Thayer Financial, we pride ourselves on being available to our clients, and our goal is to return calls and emails as soon as possible. Our office phones roll over to our cell phones while away from the office and while on vacation. Clients also have full access to TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab to access funds anytime. We believe that open two-way communication is imperative to having a successful relationship.

Is there an account minimum to work with you?

When looking for the right financial advisor, you’ll ultimately want to know if you are the right fit for their services. For instance, at Thayer Financial, we do not have an investment minimum, but our services are typically best suited for pre-retirees and retirees with $750,000 or more in investable assets. To ensure we can continue providing a high level of service and massive value for each client, we have a minimum annual fee of $5,500 for clients without $500,000 in investable assets.

Choosing a financial advisor is not easy; unfortunately, the existing business model is drowning in a sea of “trust me” salespeople riddled with significant conflicts of interest, which is why it is so essential for you to ask questions and truly listen to the answers you receive.

At Thayer Financial, everything we do is based on our four core values of duty, honesty, integrity, and loyalty. If you have a few questions for us, we’d be honored to sit down and answer them for you.


Thayer Financial, L.L.C. (“Thayer Financial”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the States of North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This website’s presence on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by Thayer Financial in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or according to an applicable state exemption.

All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Thayer Financial, L.L.C., unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to other parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation.


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