HOW TO INTERVIEW PROSPECTIVE ADVISERS?

  • Focus on the qualifications, experience and integrity of the adviser, not the investments and products they sell.
  • Begin by saying you are comparing different advisers and you plan to make notes. To help you understand how they can help, invite an adviser to provide in writing, answers to your questions.
  • To maintain control of the interview, continue to ask questions that let you compare and choose the right person.
  • Get the adviser to do most of the talking but also keep them focussed on the task at hand. To do this, ask open questions like "what experience do you have?", while avoiding questions with 'yes' or 'no' answers. And never be afraid to ask additional questions if you don't understand an adviser's answer - this will help you make an informed choice.
  • Only provide basic information about yourself and your goals. Avoid specifics about your finances or investments. Should this occur, the best response is: 'I am still looking for the right adviser. So let's talk more about your services and experience'.
  • Take it as a bad sign if an adviser pushes you to sign up as a client there and then. Refuse politely and continue your interview. Remember you are considering the merits of various advisers, not who comes armed with the best sale pitch.

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