Be Proactive

As an investor, you have a responsibility to be informed about the products and services you buy. Consequently, you must be prepared to ask your advisor questions about any aspect of the products and services that he or she offers that you do not understand.

The first question to ask may be the most important: What are you licensed to sell? The reality is that some advisors do not have access to investments in which you may be interested. Therefore, their advice and recommendations may be biased towards those he or she can sell. Also, some financial institutions that offer investments do not offer the full suite of products that are available. This may also lead to suggestions about proprietary or captive products that the institution sells without regard to other suitable investments that might be available but that are beyond the scope of their offerings.

Be proactive with your advisor and ask what types of products the firm or financial institution can sell. Ask also what the advisor can sell and how he or she is compensated for selling each of the products.

Follow our list our questions to ask a financial advisor as a guideline.

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