Things To Consider Before Hiring A Financial Planner | Refresh Financial

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7 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Financial Planner


You’re finally ready to jump into real financial change. You’ve been reading our blog for a while now, and you’ve implemented some of our tips. Perhaps you’ve read some of the books we’ve suggested and subscribed to the YouTubers we recommend. Maybe you’ve even gone ahead and signed up for the Refresh Financial program so that you can build your credit up. Now, you want to kick it up a notch and you’re considering meeting with a financial advisor. This is a great step and an important one, but before you do, here are some things to consider:

1. Can you get the information elsewhere?

Most of what people take away from a financial planner is information that is freely available to everyone. The internet is a beautiful thing, and let’s face it, most of us aren’t headed to a financial planner to sort out how to invest a few million bucks. No, we’re more interested in planning for retirement  and establishing general financial security. The average client of a financial planner is paying their advisor for information that is easily sought out and free on the web. With all the resources you have at your fingertips, do you really need to pay someone to tell you how to manage your money? There’s no shame in being the sort of person who needs a guide - many of us are busy with other things. Before you hire a planner, though, just weigh the pros and cons. Don’t spend on this if you don’t really need to.

2. Ask people you trust to recommend a planner.

Especially if those people you trust seem to be managing their wealth well. A personal recommendation is going to be far better than online comments and reviews, because you know it’s not planted or just someone with a grudge.

3. Shop around.

Don’t just get one financial planner in mind and go with it. Know what’s out there and get a feel for the industry before you make up your mind.

4. Get googling.

Once you’ve got a few planners in mind, Google their names. Make sure the results you consider are the person you’re actually searching for. For instance, if your financial planner in Guelph is named John Smith, try adding “Guelph financial planner” so your search criteria is in order. Make sure there are no glaring issues with your potential financial planner. If they have a LinkedIn page, check out how many connections they have and if they have lots of endorsements. A pretty empty LinkedIn page could mean your financial planner isn’t held in high regard. You can also take a look at their social media profiles and get a feel for what sort of person they are.

5. Check reviews.

Check their Google Places and Yelp comments and reviews.

6. Interview

Sit down and interview your potential financial planner. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What are your credentials?
  • How long have you been a planner?
  • Do you get paid by commission?
  • How do you charge for your services?
  • What is the cost?

7. Get references.

Ensure you leave the interview with a list of references for your potential financial planner and be sure to check in with those references.


If, by this point, your financial planner is still looking like a good idea, then consider one last thing: Does this sound too good to be true? Scams and frauds are not uncommon, some of them even drawing huge media coverage like the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Too good to be true probably means it’s not true. Trust your gut and don’t let yourself be sold.

This may seem like a lot of work, and it might feel like you’re being too thorough, but when it comes to someone who could make your entire life savings disappear in the blink of an eye, there really is no such thing as too thorough. A little extra thought and consideration now could save you a lifetime of headaches.

Here's a quick video with more on choosing a Financial Advisor:

Have you considered the services of a financial planner? Why or why not?

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