How to Pick a Financial Advisor

Bob Stowe |

In the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig gives great advice on how to pick a financial advisor. Zweig, who writes the Intelligent Investor column, has a different take on how to find a financial advisor.

Start by inverting the traditional search. Rather than asking friends or family for someone, then interviewing advisers and finally researching their background, proceed in the opposite direction. That helps prevent your first impression of a charismatic adviser from coloring all your judgments.

Look for fee-only advisers in your area at, or Then prepare a standardized list of questions. Handy templates are the financial-adviser interview questionnaire at and “Questions to Ask in Your Search” at Email the advisers on your list and ask them to send back a signed copy of their answers.

Most of our clients find us this way. We keep our ADV on our website. We have the tough questions on our website as well, and a summary of the fee schedule. We offer a complimentary meeting to get acquainted and are keen to discern if we are compatible. We are excited about describing our approach to planning and investments and the many ways it can help you. We feel that thorough due diligence by a thoughtful and educated client will send us more business than we can handle.