2 questions for the first time you meet
What services do you provide?
Advisors can provide a wide range of services, so it’s important to know who you're working with. In order to help you reach your financial goals, they'll work with you to create an investment strategy that aligns with your needs. They should be able to provide ongoing guidance, like looking for tax-smart savings strategies or setting up a college savings fund for your children. Advisors can also help you with more complex items, like estate planning and creating trusts, so you can protect future generations. Above all, they should be transparent so you know exactly what you're paying for and what they charge.
How do you get paid?
There are a few different ways an advisor can receive compensation, so it's always good to know how they work. Some make commissions from the trades they make for you, others may receive income from the amount of assets they manage, and others may charge a flat fee. Find out if you have a choice in how you pay them so you can do what’s right for you.
3 questions to ask during an annual checkup
Am I on target with my goals?
It's important to set your goals and keep tabs on your progress. When you're looking toward retirement, Fidelity suggests you plan to retire with 10x your ending salary. If you aren't on track, that's OK—speak with an advisor about what you can do to work toward that goal.
Am I investing properly?
Ask about diversification. As the saying goes, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." The same can be said about investing. It’s a good idea to make sure the investments you have are within different sectors of the market and with different types of companies. Find out if the investments you have are appropriate for your goals. And remember, diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss.
How do I transition from saving to spending?
You've been saving for retirement for years and now it's time to enjoy your hard work. Building a retirement income plan can help you figure out how you'll create a "paycheck" in retirement. Your advisor will be able to talk to you about generating income from your investments. To learn more about the transition, watch Fidelity's webcast on going from saving for to living in retirement.
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917