Asking a Financial Professional about Working ETFs into Your Portfolio - dummies

Asking a Financial Professional about Working ETFs into Your Portfolio

By Russell Wild

Part of Exchange-Traded Funds For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’re willing to spend time reading quality resources about exchange-traded funds and portfolio construction, you can create for yourself a portfolio that balances risk and potential return and aims toward your investment goals. However, many people find that they want at least a bit of guidance from a financial pro before making investment decisions. If that describes you, look for a fee-only financial planner (someone who does not earn commissions on your investments). Here are some questions to ask when you meet that person:

  • Given my personal economics, how much risk should I be taking with my money? Specifically, what percent of my portfolio should be in stock ETFs and what percent in bond ETFs?

  • Given the size of my portfolio, how many individual ETFs would you suggest?

  • Which brokerage house do you recommend for housing my ETF portfolio?

  • What is the historical rate of return on the ETF portfolio that you are suggesting, and just how volatile can it be?

  • Given my age, my tax bracket, and my employment, what kind of account — IRA, Roth IRA, or taxable brokerage account — do you suggest for my ETFs?

  • What selection of ETFs would you advise for an optimally diversified portfolio?

  • Do I keep my present investments, or sell them? If I keep them, how are you going to choose ETFs that best complement those investments?

  • Can you help me jiggle the investments in my 401(k) plan to complement my new ETF portfolio?