Some Key Questions for Hiring a Financial Professional:

As a novice or mildly inexperienced investor, you may have some questions concerning what type of questions you should ask when looking to establish a relationship with a financial advisor.  The purpose of this post is to provide some general educational information concerning this issue.  Please keep in mind that this information is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  Thus, it should not be relied upon as providing legal or investment advice.  If you have any questions concerning the contents of this post, you should consult a qualified expert. 

Expectations of the Relationship:

  • How often should I expect to hear from you?
  • How often will you review my account or make recommendations to me?
  • If my investments aren’t doing well, will you call me and recommend something else?
  • If I invest with you, how can I keep track of how well my investments are doing?

Experience and Background:

  • What experience do you have, especially with people like me? What percentage of your time would you estimate that you spend on people with situations and goals that are similar to mine?
  • What education have you had that relates to your work?
  • What professional licenses do you hold?
  • Are you registered with the SEC, a state securities regulator, or FINRA?
  • How long have you done this type of work?
  • Have you ever been disciplined by a regulator? If yes, what was the problem and how was it resolved?
  • Have you had customer complaints? If yes, how many, what were they about, and how were they resolved?


  • What type of products do you offer?
  • How many different products do you offer?
  • Do you offer “house” products? If so, what types of products are they, and do you receive any incentives for selling these products, or for maintaining them in a customer’s account? What kind of incentives are they?

Payments and Fees:

  • Given my situation and what I’m looking for, what is the [best / most cost effective] way for me to pay for financial services? Why?
  • What are the fees that I will pay for products and services?
  • How and when will I see the fees I pay?
  • Which of those fees will I pay directly (such as a commission on a stock trade) and which are taken directly from the products I own (such as some mutual fund expenses)
  • How do you get paid?
  • If I invested $1000 with you today, approximately how much would you get paid during the following year, based on my investment?
  • Does someone else (such as a fund company) pay you for offering or selling these products or services?

While getting answers to these questions are important, memories concerning the questions asked and the answers received fade with time.  Therefore, it is prudent that you write down the questions and answers so that you can refer back to them if a dispute arises.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.