In this digital age, there is a wealth of financial information available at your fingertips. But does this mean that financial consultants are no longer necessary? Absolutely not.
While not everyone will require the help of a personal financial advisor, there are times when the situation will call for this type of service. Knowing when you might benefit from the help of one of these professionals can be difficult, but this guide will provide you with all the information you will need.
Types of Financial Advisors
It will come as little surprise that there is not a one-size-fits-all type of financial advisor and you will likely come across advisors who specialize in different areas. It is important to be aware of the type of financial advisor you need before determining whether or not their services will be an advantage for you.
- Customer service advisors can be found at places such as your bank and credit card company. These people are generally trained to offer advice on the particular products they work with, such as helping you understand overdraft fees on your current account or comparing mortgages. You normally use this type of professional for short-term or one-off financial questions.
- Investment advisors are professionals who guide you in making smart investment choices. More often than not, they are employed by companies who manage investment portfolios and commonly work alongside investors who are planning to make larger deals. Your investment planner will help you to create an investment plan and strategy.
- Financial planners aim to help you develop a solid financial plan and can offer a variety of advice regarding investment, real estate, savings accounts and much more.
- Wealth advisors, who are sometimes called wealth management advisors, offer a range of advice similar to financial planners but work alongside clients with much larger wealth. They usually offer their services at a set fee.
- Fee-only financial planners are able to offer services without receiving a commission from any products they endorse or sell. They are particularly beneficial if you are looking for clear and honest advice.
- Retirement planners offer advice about saving for retirement and will help you execute your retirement plan based on your situation and requirements.
When Do I Need a Financial Advisor?
There are many times during your life that may be made easier through the help of a certified financial planner or advisor. Knowing when to book a consultation can be essential to staying on top of your financial situation.
Everyone goes through life changes and those which have a direct impact on your finances should be overseen by someone with professional experience. These changes might include getting married or starting a family and can be of great benefit to ensure you get off on the right foot in your new circumstances.
Changes To Wealth
When your wealth increases or decreases, this can impact how you live your day to day life as well as affecting your long term financial plans such as buying real estate or saving for retirement.
While it may be doable to reassess your situation alone, employing one of the best financial advisors for your situation could put you in a significantly better position.
If you bring in a higher income, it can be much more difficult to manage your finances. This is where a wealth advisor may be a suitable aide.
In addition to helping you manage your assets, advisors may also be able to offer you access to savings strategies that result in lower taxes and other benefits.
When two people are attempting to manage the finances of one household, it is easy for wires to get crossed. The result is that you can end up on completely different pages. This is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of the advice that a financial planner can offer and can eliminate arguments about money as well as giving you both a clear strategy.
Starting a Business
If you are in the primary stages of setting up your own business, a financial advisor can be indispensable. Managing the finances of a business is very different from taking care of things on a more personal level. But your advisor will be able to remove any confusion with the process.
There will come a time when you want to down tools and head for a slower pace of life. It pays to have a detailed retirement plan where your finances are concerned. There may be aspects of this that you have not considered but a financial advisor will be able to shed some light on this and ensure you develop the best retirement plan for you.
What to Look for in a Financial Advisor
If you now know that you need a financial advisor, the next step is to discover someone who will fit the bill and provide you with the best advice. These tips will help you to figure out the best financial planner for the job.
- Look at the website of the advisor and any content they have created — this could be articles, podcasts or anything else that can demonstrate their level of experience and knowledge of their field.
- Be sure that the advisor specialises in the area that you require help with. It will be a fruitless exercise going to an investment advisor to plan for your wedding fund.
- Check their certifications, which will demonstrate that the advisor has undergone one of the most reputable training courses and is continuing to learn periodically through their career, making their knowledge always up-to-date.
- Research the advisor to be sure that there is no conflict of interest. Many financial advisors operate on commission and will try to sell a product or service to you. Fee-based advisors may charge both a client fee as well as earning commission from their company.
- Every advisor will offer a different schedule with some seeing clients annually and others scheduling more frequent meetings. It is important to determine how often you will need to meet with your advisor and whether they are able to meet your needs.
In reality, almost anyone would benefit from the help of a financial advisor at almost any time. However, there are crucial times in your life where these services may be even more advantageous. Getting married, starting a business and planning your retirement are just some examples of times when you may benefit from speaking to a financial advisor.
One of the key things to remember is that these professionals come in all shapes and sizes. Some work for larger companies are work based on commissions whereas others operate on a fee-only basis. Each one may specialize in a different area. This means that it is not only just important to work out whether you need a financial advisor but also which type.