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What to consider when choosing a financial advisor

We are often asked what people should consider when looking to hire a financial planner or advisor. 

The most important criteria is whether you feel comfortable with that person and are able to share with them very personal and sensitive information.  If you cannot share this kind of information with your financial advisor, the value that they add will be very limited.

They should have earned the Certified Financial Planner designation and have been doing financial planning full time for at least five years. 

It is very important that your advisor is a great listener and able to explain very complex issues at the clients’ level. 

They should be independent from any entity that sells financial products, such as banks, brokerage houses, or insurance companies.  However, they should be overseen and regularly audited by an independent entity to ensure they are compliant with all rules and regulations.
The way that they are compensated should be flexible (i.e., flat fee, hourly, product commission, percent of asset) and fully disclosed to each client and prospective client.
Also very important is that they should be passionate about what they do.  Financial planning should not just be a job to them but a calling.

Morningstar developed detailed questions to ask your existing advisor or one you are considering hiring. For our Firm’s answers, please refer to the “Financial Advisor Interview” PDF file on the home page of our web site at
White House Financial & Settlement Consulting helps families live an easier and less stressful life through the proper management of their financial resources.  We do this by acting as our clients’ trusted advisor providing a personal touch customized to the client’s needs!  Please visit our web site at for more information!

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