What to Ask a Certified Financial Advisor

What you should ask your financial planner
Before you sign on with a Certified Financial Planner

Before you sign on with a Certified Financial Planner, be sure to get ask and get the answers to some of the most common but important questions. This will provide you with additional information, comfort and confidence that the person and company you select are a true professional with transparency and overall strong ethical standards. Below are some of the questions we recommend you ask during your first meeting or introduction:

1. What experience do you have?
Douglas Mollin has been working as a financial planner since graduating from New York University in 1984, first with big firms from 1984 to 1989 (EF Hutton and BDO Seidman) and then independently.

2. What are your qualifications?
Douglas Mollin is a CFP® professional. Over the years, he’s been diligent keeping up with continuing education, earning the Chartered Life Underwriter designation (1999) and Chartered Financial Consultant (1995) from The American College. He also earned the Certified Fund Specialist designation (1993).

3. What services do you offer?
Our main services are investment and retirement planning. We also cover the spectrum of broad financial planning: taxes, estate, insurance, and college.

4. What is your approach to financial planning?
Our mission is the best definition of our approach – to assist our clients however we can on their path to financial security and prosperity. The “about us” link gives a more detailed answer.

5. What type of clients do you typically work with?
The bulk of our clients are individuals, with a few corporations and charities as well. Many of our clients are now two (and sometimes three) generations of family working with us. The ages range from younger clients starting a family to older clients already retired and everything in between.

6. Will you be the only person working with me?
Douglas Mollin is the main contact for all financial planning work. He’ll be assisted by the team at EMCR but your advisor will be Doug.

7. How will I pay for your services?
We are a fee-only firm. We do not receive commissions. Our fees are set at a fixed level or as a percentage of assets in the portfolio, depending on each client’s circumstances.

8. How much do you typically charge?
We are happy to discuss this directly with anyone interested in learning more about our firm.

9. Could anyone besides me benefit from your recommendations?
Disclosing any conflicts of interest is critical in any financial planning engagement. We use Charles Schwab and Fidelity as the two firms that custody our clients’ accounts. These are the two biggest firms available to independent advisors (and best in our opinion).

The partners in EMCR also own RCK, CPAs. There is no real or perceived obligation for any client of EMCR to work with RCK, CPAs for their taxes (and the same goes for clients of RCK, CPAs). Many clients do work with both firms, but that decision is completely up to each client.

10. Can I have it in writing?
We will provide a written, signed agreement detailing the services that will be provided to each client.