Financial Advisor Evaluation & Selection Tool and Dear Financial Advisor Letter


Financial Advisor Evaluation & Selection Checklist for Widows and Widowers

Learn How to Evaluate and Select a Professional, Planning-oriented Financial Advisor

For many widows, finding the right financial advisor can be daunting. In fact, over 70% of widows change the financial advisor picked by their husband. Many of these advisors had a working relationship with the husband, but never took time to acknowledge the wife’s concerns. Go figure…

Other widows might have relied on their husbands to manage their investments and personal finances.

Whether you did or didn’t rely on your husband to manage your finances, they are now your responsibility. You can either try to manage your finances solo, or like most widows, you can get a financial advisor who will manage your finances for you.

With over a million people across the U.S. calling themselves financial advisors, picking the wheat from the chaff is tricky. Everyone appears to be a financial advisor or financial planner, including brokers, insurance agents, even accountants and attorneys.

Some advisors have college degrees or professional certifications while others have securities licenses or titles on their business card such as “1st Vice President of Investments”. Some advisors charge commissions, a few charge fees (Fee-Only), and the remaining vast majority can charge both commissions and fees (Fee-Based). Some only manage investments while others provide comprehensive financial planning. Some advisors are always fiduciaries, a person who is legally required to look out for your best interest, while others are only part time fiduciaries. How does one even begin to make sense of all of this? Really…. it’s very difficult.

Over the past 20 years in the financial services industry, I’ve heard many stories of widows being told by their neighbor, coworker, brother-in-law or even the funeral director, which financial advisor they should call. The problem is people can’t know what they don’t know. If your brother-in-law has an advisor who only manages his investments, which are all profitable at the time, everything will seem great. He is going to think his advisor is really good, but he’s basing his opinion on his own experience, which is probably very different from yours, especially if you just lost your spouse. For your unique situation, what you need is a professional, planning-oriented financial advisor. And the easiest way you can find the right advisor for you is to use the Financial Advisor Evaluation and Selection Tool™.

The free Financial Advisor Evaluation and Selection Tool™, exclusively available on this website, provides you with the right questions to ask. It also gives you the answers to those questions so someone won’t be able to pull a fast one on you. The tool covers critical areas like fiduciary duty, professional qualifications, assumptions used in your financial plan, what documents are important to collect and review, and more.

The Financial Advisor Evaluation and Selection Tool™ has two versions; the full version for when you want to go deep into the advisor evaluation process, and the abbreviated version, which helps you work through a basic evaluation to narrow down your choices from many to few. After you narrow down your choices, you can use the full version to evaluate your remaining candidates. Both versions of the tool are included in the free download below.


Free Bonus!


Do you want to take your financial advisor evaluation process to the next level? The Dear Financial Advisor Letter™ asks your potential advisor to state whether he or she can and will meet your requirements and expectations. In our experience, an unethical, dishonest or limited-service advisor usually won’t put their signature on a letter confirming contrary facts.

There’s no need to write the letter yourself, we’ve done the work for you. Simply provide the advisor with the letter, then ask them to read it carefully and sign it if they are willing to meet your expectations.

Thanks to this letter, you don’t have to decipher the advisor’s marketing sales pitch. And you don’t need to worry about whether you are asking the right questions. Providing this letter to a potential advisor will either result in the advisor signing it (which is a good thing) or backtracking on their promises and looking for excuses to not sign it.

To get your free Financial Advisor Evaluation and Selection Tool™ and bonus Dear Financial Advisor Letter™, we ask for your name and email below.


Get Access to Your Free Evaluation Tool and Dear Financial Advisor Letter™

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Additional Financial Tools for the Recently Widowed



Immediate Checklist

A step-by-step process of people to call, documents to collect and arrangements to be made during the first 72 hours after the death of a spouse or partner

Weekly Wealth Reminders™

To help you manage important tax, legal and financial tasks as well as protect and maintain your home and vehicles


Widowed Community Financial Blog

Financial Knowledge, Wisdom and Know-How for High Net Worth Widows and Widowers

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