Managing your finances can be a daunting task. From creating a budget, saving for retirement, investing in the stock market, and updating your estate plan, there are countless decisions to be made that can have a significant impact on your financial security and independence for the long run. That’s where a financial advisor can help. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why you need a financial advisor and provide tips for finding the right one.
What is a Financial Advisor?
A financial advisor is a professional who provides guidance and advice on a wide range of financial topics, including investments, retirement planning, taxes, insurance, and estate planning. They work with individuals, families, and businesses to help them achieve their financial goals and navigate complex financial situations.
Why You Need a Financial Advisor
There are many reasons why you might need the “right” financial advisor for you and your family, like finding the right primary care physician. Here are just a few:
Expertise: Financial advisors have specialized knowledge and expertise in a variety of financial areas. They can help you navigate complex financial situations, provide guidance on investment strategies, and help you create a personalized comprehensive financial plan that aligns with your goals and priorities.
Objectivity: When it comes to your finances, it can be difficult to remain objective. Emotions can often get in the way of making rational decisions. A financial advisor can provide an objective perspective and help you make decisions based on logic and sound financial principles.
Time: Managing your finances can be time-consuming. Between researching investments, monitoring your portfolio, and staying up-to-date on tax laws, it can be a full-time job. A financial advisor can help free up your time and handle many of these tasks for you. A great financial advisor can help to get your financial “house” in order and coordinate advice and recommendations with your financial team (estate attorney, accountant, employer benefits, and more.)
Accountability: A financial advisor can help hold you accountable for your financial decisions. They can provide regular check-ins and help ensure that you stay on track to meet your financial goals. Just remember the saying, “what gets measured, gets done!)
Peace of Mind: Perhaps most importantly, a financial advisor can help provide peace of mind. By working with a financial advisor, you can feel confident that your finances are being managed effectively and that you’re on track to achieve your financial goals no matter what may arise in life planned or unexpected.
Now that you understand the benefits of working with a financial advisor, how do you go about finding a financial advisor near you? Here are some tips:
Look for Credentials: When searching for a financial advisor, look for someone who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®). Most people think all financial planners are “Certified” but this is not true. Only those who have fulfilled the national comprehensive exam and ongoing renewal requirements of CFP® Board can display the CFP® marks, which represent a high level of ethics, education, competency and work experience. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioners are fiduciaries, required to put your interests above their own at all times.
Consider Experience: Look for an advisor who has experience working with clients in situations similar to your own. For example, if you’re approaching retirement, look for an advisor who specializes in retirement planning. Consider the advisor’s niche as well. For example they may work primarily with corporate high tech employees, doctors, teachers or Federal employees, as some examples.
Check References: Don’t be afraid to ask for references from the advisor’s current clients. This can help you get a sense of the advisor’s communication style, responsiveness, and overall level of satisfaction among clients. Also make sure to do a background check on the advisor such as on FINRA or the SEC websites (brokercheck).
Understand Fees: Make sure you understand how the advisor is compensated whether by fees or commissions. If your advisor doesn’t work on commissions, they likely get paid from fees they charge to manage your portfolio. These advisors can operate a “fee-based” or “fee-only” business and are considered fiduciaries, operating in their clients’ best interest. In contrast, a commission-based advisor’s income is earned entirely on the insurance and investment products they sell or the accounts that are opened. Commission-based advisors may operate on a “suitability” basis. This means that they can sell any products that they believe suit their clients’ objectives and situation. Some advisors may operate in a combination of these methods with fee-based management and commissions. Do your homework up front.
Trust Your Gut: Finally, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Look for an advisor who you feel comfortable working with and who you believe has your best interests in mind, just like selecting the “right” primary care physician.
Working with a financial advisor can provide a wide range of benefits, including expertise, objectivity, time savings, and accountability. When searching for a financial advisor, look for someone who is credentialed, experienced, and has a fee structure that aligns with your needs.
For more information on our firm or to request a complementary investment and retirement check-up with Jon W. Ulin, CFP®, please call us at (561) 210-7887 or email [email protected]. Get Started Today: Contact us.
Note: Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. You cannot invest directly in an index. Information provided on tax and estate planning is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. All examples and charts shown are hypothetical used for illustrative purposes only and do not represent any actual investment.
The information given herein is taken from sources that IFP Advisors, LLC, dba Independent Financial Partners (IFP), and its advisors believe to be reliable, but it is not guaranteed by us as to accuracy or completeness. This is for informational purposes only and in no event should be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or products. Please consult your tax and/or legal advisor before implementing any tax and/or legal related strategies mentioned in this publication as IFP does not provide tax and/or legal advice. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and do not take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation, or needs of individual investors.