How to Interview for New Financial Advisor Positions

There are so many questions to ask when interviewing for a financial advisor position at a full service broker and advisory firm. Make up a list of questions ahead of time to ask the hiring manager. During the interview, you might even think of a few more to ask.

1. Here are questions to ask to ensure you are comfortable with the fees the firm charges customers.
- Inquire how many the firm charges for security transactions. If the answer is more than $10 for 5000 shares of stock, approximately what discount brokers charge, ask under what conditions the firm could justify the additional cost to the customer.
- Learn what the average mutual fund expense ratio costs clients for funds recommended by the firm. This is sometimes called the net expense ratio.
- Can this expense ratio be justified by better performance in up markets, slower declines in down markets, or lower risk than an equivalent index fund with an expense ratio of 20 or 10 basis points (or less)? (10 basis points is 0.1%; 100 basis points is 1.0 %.)
- What is the range of Wrap Fee charges for accounts to be offered to clients? (Most firms allow Financial Advisors (FAs) to charge a range, for example between 1.5% (150 basis points) and 0.75% (75 basis points).) How can this fee be justified? (Note the Wrap Fees are in addition to the mutual fund expense ratio.)
2. New Financial Advisors are usually asked to pay all or part of the expenses to market their services. Here are questions to ask to learn what the firm pays, and what you'll pay out of your pocket.
3. Find out about getting a private office. What amount of production will be needed to get a private office? How long does it usually take a new Financial Advisor to achieve this level of production?
4. Will you work alone or with a team? If alone, who can you ask for guidance? If with a team, how will your contribution be judged? Will there be a partnership agreement detailing mutual responsibilities? If so, ask for a copy to read before accepting employment.
5. Is cold-calling done to build business? If so, how does the firm protect you and itself from Do Not Call List violations?















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