AP9 PrivacyMatters Offers Five Questions to Ask When Hiring a Financial Planner

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AP9 PrivacyMatters, from Adaptive Marketing LLC, recommends steps to give families peace of mind about one of most important financial decisions.

Choosing a financial planner can be an overwhelming task. After all, the family financial planner is perhaps the only one outside the household with access to private, personal financial information. AP9 PrivacyMatters, a leading security and privacy membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC, says families can protect their financial future by asking the right questions when selecting an outsider to help manage their money.

Since the term "financial planner" is used by many financial professionals, it could refer to a variety of fields, including insurance, tax planning, investments, estate planning or retirement planning, each of which requires its own licenses and credentials. In addition, each field goes through numerous legal and regulatory changes each year, so it’s crucial to find someone who stays current in his or her field.

AP9 PrivacyMatters advises members to ask potential financial planners these five important questions:

1. What is your approach to financial planning?

Some planners use a broad approach to meet their clients’ goals, while others use fewer, more specific tools. Get a sense of the planner’s style to make sure he or she is neither too cautious nor too aggressive with your money.

2. Will you be the only person working with me?

Some financial planners work alone. Others rely on in-house staff or outside professionals, such as attorneys, insurance agents or tax specialists, to carry out their plans. Be sure to meet everyone who will be working on your account, or get a list of names so you can check their backgrounds.

3. How much do you charge, and how will I pay for your services?

As part of your financial planning agreement, the planner should tell you how he or she will be paid for services provided — whether it’s by salary, fees (hourly or flat rate), third-party commissions or a combination of all three. Be sure to get this in writing.

4. Do you have any potential conflicts of interest?

Sometimes, a planner will have another client or business partner, such as a law firm or insurance company, that could influence his or her recommendations to you. Ask about potential conflicts of interests up front so you’ll know he or she is acting in your best interest.

5. Have you ever been publicly disciplined in your professional career?

This may be difficult to ask in person, but in today’s world, financial professionals are glad to answer it. Be sure to ask your planner which agency oversees his or her practice, and then follow up with your own background check to see if there is any record of unethical or illegal activity.

As with any important decision, AP9 PrivacyMatters says, the key to finding the right financial planner lies in a combination of research and face-to-face discussions. The more information you have, the more confidence you’ll have in your choice.

Members can log on to their members-only website at DealPass for immediate access to a wide range of benefits that will help them plan for their future, including credit reports and tax and legal services, concludes AP9 PrivacyMatters.

About AP9 PrivacyMatters

AP9 PrivacyMatters is a leading security and privacy membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC. Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in both membership and loyalty programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at DealPass.com, an online portal for Adaptive Marketing membership programs. With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs, such as AP9 Privacy Matters.

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