10 Questions to Ask Your Financial Professional


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  1. Are you a fiduciary which, of course, means you are required to put my interests first?
  2. If yes to question 1, do you operate full-time under the fiduciary standard or do you sometimes switch to the less stringent suitability standard?
  3. Are you a fee-only advisor or do you also earn commissions or some type of production based bonus on the products (securities, insurance contracts, etc.) you sell me?
  4. Will you be willing to reveal – in writing – all sources of your compensation from, or associated with, my account? If not, why not?
  5. If you recommend annuities, will you provide a written summary (on one sheet of paper) of the commissions, fees, expenses, and charges embedded in the insurance contract? If not, why not?
  6. If you recommend annuities, what is your direct compensation when I purchase the annuity, and how many years in the future until the surrender charges expire?
  7. Do you invest your own money the same way you are recommending I invest mine? If not, why not?
  8. Do you pick stocks or time the market? If so, explain how you (or your firm) feel you can achieve excess returns above the appropriate market benchmark(s) when the brightest and the best on Wall Street are unable to do so consistently.
  9. Do you safekeep or custody my assets in-house, or do you outsource the safekeeping and custodial function to an independent, 3rd party qualified custodian?
  10. Have you personally filed for bankruptcy or been disciplined by any securities or insurance regulatory body or organization? If so, please explain.

DISCLOSURE: Pacific Northwest Asset Management, LLC (hereinafter “PNW Asset Management”) is an investment adviser registered with Washington State. PNW Asset Management may not transact business in states where it is not appropriately registered, excluded or exempt from registration. Individualized responses to persons that involve either the effecting of transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made without registration or exemption.