Managing your finances is perhaps the most challenging aspect of day to day living. Investment strategies vary, and no two people’s portfolio or options are ever the same. When contacting an independent broker dealer, you should consider carefully the types of questions you wish to ask. Any qualified stock broker will welcome your inquiry and be happy to help you learn to invest better. Keep your questions tailored to your personal investing goals and be prepared to discuss all the options available to you. Here are some questions you can use to begin a dialogue to build a long term investment relationship with your independent broker dealer.

1. “Can I get an investment profile?” or if you already have one, “Why did you choose the options for me that you did? How can I expect to see these work for me long term and short term?”

This will help you outline what your financial goals are, and if your broker is the right match for you. If you already have a profile drawn up, you should inquire as to why your independent broker dealer chose the investment options for you that they hav

  • Did they value your willingness to take risks with the possibility for high yield investments?
  • Were their choices safer, and better tailored to smaller investment opportunities? These discussions will help decide how to best diversify your investing and portfolio options and help you and your independent broker dealer put your money to work for you.

2. What are they doing to stand out from the competition? Ask your broker how they handle challenges and the things they are doing to help earn and keep your business. Some things to inquire about could be:

  • Is this firm one of many?
  • Are they a little fish in a big pond, or do they stand out from the crowd?
  • How do they attract new business and help their clients get the best return on their investments?
  • How can you reach someone if you have a question? How soon will they return your call or email? Is there a way to always reach a live person instead of a recording?

3. How do they get paid?

  • Are they working on commission? If so, how are their suggestions tailored to your investment needs instead of trying to just get your business to win a prize or a better paycheck?
  • Are they pushing a particular stock or investment option? Why? How does it fit your needs, and if it doesn’t, inquire as to why they are adamant on trying to sell you on it. Good business practices go far. You’re not shopping for a car; you’re investing your money.
  • Do you pay them by singular transactions? By flat fees? Addressing these issues early is the key to avoiding miscommunication further down the line.

Lastly, your independent broker dealer should value your time and your investments. The assets in your portfolio are just that – assets. You should always know the value of them, and it is important to amass as much knowledge as possible. Asking these questions of your broker can lead to a long and prosperous relationship for both parties, if communication is open and honest. Honest investments are solid investments, and the return on them is immeasurable.