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Stanford Continuing Studies

Financial Advisors: Finding and Evaluating Your Perfect Match

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About the course

Most people don’t have the expertise or desire to do their own financial and investment planning. So they look to hire a financial advisor. But how do you know if you have selected the right one? Or if they are doing a great job? With many personal financial advisor options available, it’s difficult to distinguish among them, let alone consider the various business models used to deliver services—brokerage, boutique registered investment advisors (RIAs), banks, private banks, insurance companies, robo-advisors, and solo financial planners. In this one-day workshop, we will: (1) differentiate the types of advice and services; (2) consider service cost differences; (3) help you evaluate your current and future needs; (4) educate you on advisor incentives and alignment of interests; (5) suggest questions to ask financial advisors; (6) consider the meaning of and explain financial advisor certifications (e.g., CFP, CFA, CRS, CIMA); and (7) summarize resources for your financial advisor homework. In order to better understand financial advisory options, a panel of differentiated advisors will explain their approaches and take your questions. This workshop is for people at all wealth levels who are seeking a detailed framework to assist them in selecting or evaluating a personal financial advisor on whom they will rely.

Trust the experts

James Keene

Mission: Helping investment firms, wealth management firms and entrepreneurial ventures clarify vision, develop strategy and execute effectively through leadership development and executive coaching. Vision: To build a successful strategy, leadership development and executive coaching business s...


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