10 Essential FAQs to Add to Your Financial Planning Website


If you’re in the business of financial planning, you’re probably used to explaining things to people. This is an industry that’s difficult to understand unless you’re in it, and for some, it’s so complex that it’s almost intimidating. Fortunately, you can relieve a lot of stress and ease many people’s minds by creating a dynamic FAQ page and other resources that explain just what you do and provide insight and answers to other relevant and pressing questions. 

There are hundreds of possible questions, of course, so how do you choose the best ones? That is where the planning comes into play—and where we can help. In this article, we’ll cover the tips and best practices for creating an effective FAQ page along with the top questions every financial planner should be answering. 

First, let’s talk about self-service. Today’s audience is demanding even more solutions. They want instant answers that they can find themselves and as many as 91% of consumers say they’d use an online knowledge base like an FAQ page if it were offered and fit their needs. In fact, the FAQ page is the most used knowledge base tool online today. That’s why getting yours right matters. 

With 82% of consumers expecting brands to have some type of self-service portal, it’s time for your financial planning business to get on board if you’re not already. In addition to FAQs, you can also offer blogs, information about your company, and other resources to assist people with learning more about financial planning on their own. It’s about creating a strategy to give your audience the best tools and resources. 

People don’t want to wait. Sure, they could contact you and ask questions. They could schedule a consultation and find out everything they want to know there. Or, you could embrace self-service and create a dynamic website where people can find answers and help themselves in several different ways. Then, when you encourage them to contact you, it’s because they need and want to, not because they just can’t find answers, etc. 

Let’s talk about strategy, then we’ll cover the FAQs financial planners can’t afford to miss. 

How to create an effective FAQ page (or database)

There is a lot that goes into planning your FAQ page, including deciding what topics you want to cover and how extensive of a resource you want to provide for your audience. Think about how many potential questions and topics you’ll want to cover so that you can decide on a page structure that’s organized and easy to navigate. Some businesses will start with a single page of FAQs organized by topic while others will create multiple pages because the topics are extensive enough to warrant their own focus.

It's all about what works best for you, or rather what works best for your audience. This is a resource for them, after all, so their needs and input are what really count. You should take the time first to see what others are doing. Search for some financial planning competitors and check out their FAQ pages. Then, do a search for the “best FAQ pages” or “best FAQ examples” and see what is making waves. Then, use their best practices and tips to build your own strategy. 

Decide whether you’re going to need a single page or multiple pages, and then decide how you’re going to organize them. You will want to keep like topics together. In the realm of financial planning, some common topics could be:

  • General financial planning FAQ
  • Questions about your financial planning business
  • Tax and investment FAQ
  • Retirement FAQ
  • Fees and services 
  • And so forth

Basically, if there’s an area that people will have questions about, you should create a category for it and then list all the relevant questions. Once you do this for all the categories, you’ll be able to determine whether you’re going to have an FAQ page or a database with multiple pages. 

Make sure that you think like the consumer and phrase your questions accordingly. If you want to, ask your audience which questions and answers they find most pressing. Of course, make sure that you don’t skip any of the ones on the list below. 

Let’s take a look. 

The top 10 FAQs every financial planner needs

1. What is financial planning?

Of course, we’ll start with the million-dollar question. Many people don’t even understand the world of financial planning or what a financial planner does. Therefore, you’ll want to take the time to explain it to them. You don’t have to publish a novel here, but provide an overview of the solutions that you do offer and make sure that you educate people on what this industry is as well as how it can benefit them. Then you can encourage them to reach out to you for more information or to see if you can assist them in their financial matters. 

2. Why do I need a financial planner?

Make sure that you ask “why” and not just “do I” when posing this question. Giving them the option to say no is not going to do any good. When you pose the question as a why, their brains interpret that they do need your services. Now you just have to explain what you have to offer. Talk about all the things that you can do, how much easier you can make financial management, and how working with a trained professional can help people make smarter investments. 

You can cover a lot of ground here, and then you can invite people to reach out to you to discuss what you can do for them specifically, giving you a great place for a call-to-action (CTA), too. 

3. How much does a financial planner cost?

Some people assume that financial planners have set rates or can estimate the cost of their services. While you might be able to do this to a certain extent, the odds are good that you can’t give every potential client an exact cost just from a simple Q&A. There’s more to it than that. However, this is your space to advise people on how you charge and what types of rates you have for services, as well as what is included. Plus, you can explain that not having a financial planner could cost far more in the long run when the money isn’t handled in the best ways. 

4. Do you offer a free consultation?

You should, if you don’t, and you should always answer this question on your FAQ page. Then, link people to a contact form or another way to reach you to set up their consultation. Today, people like to know that they can get what they need from companies before they make a commitment. If you make people pay for a consult, they’re going to expect that you will always be more worried about the price of your services than helping them out, and that’s not a good reputation to create. 

Offer a free consult, encourage people to reach out, and use this question to link to contact pages, social media, or other places where people can connect with you. 

5. What type of experience and training do you have?

Make sure that you explain to people what your background and training are in the finance industry. Financial planners could have degrees in that field specifically, but some also come from accounting or other backgrounds. Spell this out for your audience and make sure that you cover the details of your own training. This will give everyone peace of mind and reassure them that you are the financial planner that they need to work with. 

6. Are you licensed and registered to work as a financial advisor?

Here’s another chance to explain your expertise and professional credentials in this field. There are certain licensing and registration demands for different financial planning services and service providers (including the specific RIA question next), and people need to know that you have covered the ones that are relevant to your business and/or area of expertise. List your credentials and licensing here and explain what each means to help people better understand what you bring to the table. 

7. What is a Registered Investment Advisor?

An RIA, or Registered Investment Advisor, as you know, is someone who is properly certified and registered to advise on investments and help people with them directly. This kind of certification is something that consumers and businesses should look for when working with a financial planner so that they can trust that they’re getting a reputable source. Explain all of this, and then take the opportunity to reiterate your certifications, experience and training, and any other relevant details to showcase your own expertise for your audience. 

8. Is financial planning the same as retirement planning?

Along with the other millions of things people don’t know about financial planning is how it’s different than the specific area of retirement planning. Planning for retirement is included in the general realm of financial planning, but there’s more to it than that. This is a general term that refers to planning one’s finances (either in business or personally) for everything from savings and investing to spending, budgeting, and more. Financial planners cover a lot of stages of life and retirement planning is only part of the discussion. 

9. What questions do I need to ask my financial planner?

Some people are so new to the world of financial planning that they’re not even sure how to proceed. This is your chance to help set them up for success. You should cover relevant questions and topics here that everyone will want to know when they are creating their financial plan. Suggest that people write down what is most important to them and encourage them to ask as many questions as necessary to get the answers that they need. 

Remind people that they can reach out to you, too, and encourage them to do so. This will give you the chance to give them answers one-on-one and reassure them that you have their best interests in mind. 

10. Why do I need to diversify my portfolio? What does that even mean?

This is a big topic for a lot of people who don’t really understand the world of financial planning. They hear a lot of talk about having a diversified portfolio when it comes to investing, but they may not even be aware of what that means. Take the time to explain a little to them about diversification and why it’s important and then invite them to contact you for a portfolio review to see what you can do to make improvements and help them diversify further. 

You’re educating people, but also promoting your services at the same time. If you’re good at the educational part, they’ll convert a lot faster than if you just try to sell them something. 

Spend more time planning and less time micromanaging when you partner with Smith.ai

As a financial planner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Dealing with phone calls, incoming leads, appointment scheduling, and other queries can be a lot to manage. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all on your own. With the help of the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll never miss a call or chat again, even when you’re not the one fielding them. Our team can handle everything from website chats and after-hours answering to Facebook and SMS message answering, and so much more. 

We’ll even help you take the time to craft a strategy to handle it all, no matter what you need. That way, you can focus on financial planning and helping your clients organize their finances, and ensure that your business is always on, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That kind of instant availability will definitely stand out to your audience, too. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can make sure your calls and chats get the dedicated service they deserve even when you’re busy with financial planning. You will also find us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 

Business Education
Marketing Advice
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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