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5 Questions To Ask When Interviewing A Financial Advisor

Posted by Devayani Bapat

March 5, 2024

Our must-ask interview questions have you covered when seeking an advisor.

Have you ever tried your hand at juggling? Well, isn’t setting up a small business just that and more? At first, you’re focused on getting started, then finding and keeping clients while doing what you love. On some days, though, you’re also crumbling under pressure. Very often, in between all those tireless meetings, late nights, and expenses, one purpose is always lost — managing your finances.

If keeping your finances in check seems daunting, fret not; just as you would hire a sports coach to better your tennis serve, rope in a financial advisor to step in and make the difference.

Now, what are financial advisors? They’re the finest experts in the corporate world, navigating money matters with ease, safeguarding your investments, and holding your hand through some of the most challenging decisions you may ever have to make. They will help you stay financially fit by reducing risks, preparing for unexpected events, and finding ways to make your business more valuable. Not just that, but they can also help build your business in a manner that multiplies personal wealth, thereby enabling you to create a sustainable business model.

At a glance, a financial advisor is that fella that’ll be your business’s best friend, helping you navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship while keeping your finances in the best shape. Hiring your company’s financial advisor is like finding that perfect jeans fit. You must take your time and make an informed, well-researched, and mapped-out decision to indulge.

Here are 5 most important questions you must ask potential candidates before you make your hiring decision:


1. Are you a fiduciary?

One of the first things you should ask a potential financial advisor you may end up hiring for your business is if they owe a fiduciary duty to you. This means that if you were to get them on board, they’re legally bound to prioritize your interests over their own. While it’s a common misconception that all advisors have this duty, that is far from the reality. Not all advisors are obliged to perform this fiduciary duty; hence, clarifying is essential.

Another point is that some advisors may not act as fiduciaries in some areas. In such a case scenario, it’s best to work with a registered investment advisor or a certified financial planner, for these professionals must adhere to fiduciary duties, making it mandatory to disclose any conflict of interest that may arise during your collaboration.

2. What services do you offer?

This one’s quite a no-brainer. Before getting a financial advisor onboard, knowing what they bring to the table is crucial. If you’re after specific financial advice, such as investments and taxes, or more niche advice, such as estate planning, ensure the financial advisor you’re chatting with has these bases covered. Conversely, another way to approach the interview would be to dig deep and grill your advisor on their expertise in a particular area. Whether you’re looking for advice or financial education, make sure your advisor meets your needs, for it is the right advisor who will help keep your finances on track.

Talk to us about how Escalon’s essential business services can help your startup focus on its core activities.


3. Do you use a tech-integrated investing approach to build financial plans?

Technology plays a significant role in today’s economic landscape and digital-first era. When choosing an advisor, it is crucial to note whether or not their services are integrated with tech. After all, it enhances efficiency. For example, the transparency offered by tech-backed online account tracking, communication channels, and hybrid platforms that blend technology with human expertise helps provide well-vetted market insights. Even if you prefer human interaction, evaluating an advisor’s tech capabilities is crucial to ensure success.

4. How often would we need to set up meetings to review financial plans and their success?

It’s vital to keep your financial plan up-to-date as your goals and the market shift. In such a case, checking how often your advisor thinks you must meet and review your investments and plans is essential. Asking your financial advisor such a question will help you gauge their attitude. It will allow you to understand whether or not they are proactively interested in ensuring your financial plan remains aligned with your current needs and opportunities and is optimized for success.

5. What do your clients like about working with you, and how do you measure your client’s success?

Selecting a financial advisor is about more than just crunching numbers. Finding someone who is a good fit is vital to your economic growth as a small business. Getting insight into a glowing recommendation from their clients can help you understand why they stand out and why they might be the right choice for your company.

Another critical point to note is understanding how any business financial advisor measures success for their clients. Whether it’s through achieving client goals or delivering solid investment returns, a potential candidate must be able to give you insight into their process and some of the metrics they might use for your business and why they matter. Ultimately, it is of utmost importance that you find an advisor whose values and methods align with your needs for your collaboration to result in a fruitful partnership.

The Final Word

Before hiring a financial advisor for your small business, ask questions about what they do, how they invest, their fees, experience, how they plan to handle your money, and if they offer modern tech-driven tools. These questions seem like a lot, but they’re the ones that will help you trust them a little more and make the best decision for your financial well-being and growth.

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Want to know more? In addition to HR, benefits, recruiting, and payroll through its PeopleOps, Escalon’s Essential Business Services include FinOps (CFO services, taxes, bookkeeping, and accounting) and Risk (business insurance). Talk to an expert today.


Devayani Bapat
Devayani Bapat

With 6 years of experience in copywriting and social media management across genres, Devayani's heart lies with weaving words into stories and visuals into carefully crafted narratives that’ll keep you wanting more. She carries with her, her pocket notebook, a trusted confidante that goes with her wherever she goes, and scribbles down into it anecdotes on the go. Her secret weapon for keeping all things copy interesting! Apart from writing, Devayani is huge on travelling. You'll find her booking her next adventure while she's on her current one. And while on those adventures, you'll find her devouring true crime books one after the other. Whether it's a low down on a recent case or one that occurred 70 years ago, she can cook up a story narration you'll never forget.

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