Questions to Ask When Working With a Financial Advisor

Thrift Savings plans investments are typically easier to comprehend than other retirement planning options so dealing with a financial professional regarding TSP investments is not required, but still highly recommended. Reaching out and working with a financial advisor is recommended in order to give you the opportunity to ask questions that relate to things such as investing as well as other topics.

“Ask Questions” is a very helpful brochure found in the Securities and Exchange Commission website, and it includes many questions to be asked of any financial advisor you are opting to work with. Some example of these types of questions that follow are adapted from the most recent SEC’s brochure.

Regarding financial products:

Are these investments registered with the SEC and in my state securities agency?

Why do you think the investment is appropriate for me?

Are there fees associated with the investment?

What about the risks related to this investment?

About mutual funds:

What is the performance of these funds over a particular period?

What are the major specific risks associated with this fund?

How does the fund perform in comparison to its peers?

What fees are associated with this fund, mainly sales fees?

About the adviser:

How much are they paid?

What are your training, experiences and the certifications you have received?

Has SEC ever disciplined you, a state regulator or other entities such as FINRA?

Can you provide the names and contact information of your major long-term clients?

What is your knowledge about federal retirement and benefits?

General questions:

How much fees and commission will I pay?

How often will I get statements?

What it the amount of money that I will receive if I sell my investments now?

It is recommended to take notes while talking to the advisor. SEC has come up with a form used to take notes in a conversation with the broker or financial profession. It can be found here.

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