Questions To Ask

December 9, 2003
  • Are you a Certified Financial Planner?
  • Do you work independently? If not, for whom do you work?
  • If with a big firm, will I work directly with you?
  • How long have you been a financial planner? (Experts say the answer should be more than five years.)
  • What kind of clients do you work with? (You don't want to bring in your $15,000 to a firm that handles clients with millions.)
  • What is your philosophy regarding financial planning? (Is that philosophy the same as yours?)
  • Do you have a specialty?
  • Do you only refer to others in your company?
  • What does a financial plan from your firm look like?
  • Have you ever been sued?
  • Also ask for educational background, experience and references.

You can verify CFP designation at For a list of CFPs in your area, also try the Financial Planning Association ( or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (fee-only financial planners) at