THE FIRST MEETING WITH a financial advisor is pivotal. It will not only help set the stage for your professional relationship, but also help determine whether that stage should be set at all. You should walk away from your first meeting feeling confident that this is someone with whom you can and want to work going forward.
Before that first meeting, do some online research to get background information on the advisor, says Andrew Crowell, vice chairman of wealth management at D.A. Davidson & Co. This is your chance to put those social media stalking skills to use.
"Searching the advisor on the internet, in addition to visiting their firm's website and the advisor's personal website and social media accounts, can reveal a great deal about their experience, professionalism (and) outside interests," Crowell says.
You should also review the advisor's public record on brokercheck.finra.org, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's free tool for researching advisors and firms. "This public record shows any disciplinary actions (that) the advisor may have experienced during their career, as well as revealing firm and licensing history and outside business activities," Crowell says.
Once you are confident that the financial advisor you're about to meet is a good match, it's time to prepare for that first meeting.