- Arrive at the appointment with a list of questions. What services do you offer? What degrees, licenses and certifications do you hold? What is your specialty?
- Make sure you understand how the person gets paid. Financial professionals charge for their services in a variety of ways, including hourly rates, flat fees, percentage of assets managed or commission. Keep in mind that some professionals who earn commissions may not have your best interests at heart.
- Consider whether you feel comfortable with the person. A good financial professional welcomes questions and can explain answers clearly.
- Request client references and check them. How long have they used the person? What do they like most — and least? Would they recommend the person to a family member?
- Verify the person's credentials with the appropriate regulating or certifying organization. You can do this through professional associations and licensing agencies.
Remember that you are hiring someone to help you plan for your future. This is no time to be shy. To learn more about working with a financial professional, visit aarp.org/money.
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