How to Get the Most Information Out of Financial Advisor References
Assume you are about to talk with people who are in the advisor's corner.
Some advisors include that assumption in their reasons for not offering references. They argue that a prospective client won't gain much insight from what amounts to an endorsement, while the existing client loses both confidentiality and time.
If you check references by asking the typical questions, the advisor would be right, there would not be any blood in this stone, this rock-solid reference.
There are ways to extract a pint or two of blood -- information -- if you know how.
Finally, assure the advisor that you intend to call references only as a final check, as the last piece in your decision-making process, so that you will not bother anyone with questions until you are close to making your selection. What's more, point out that you do not expect answers to personal questions like "How much money do you have with this advisor?" or "How much money has he made you?" That information is none of your business and not relevant to your personal situation.
By Chuck Jaffe