Tips to Finding a Perfect Financial Advisor
We think of financial advisers when the cycle of saving, investing and maximizing the value of investments become a little too overwhelming for us. You might want someone to plan your financial decisions based on your living standards and earning capacities. On the other hand, you might also want someone for a short-term decision that will affect your future, like getting a house, going abroad for education, wedding, the birth of a child, divorce, death of a spouse, or maybe major illness of a loved one. Finding a financial adviser suited to your needs might be time-consuming, but it is always worth the time invested. Moreover, we have some tips to help you out here.
THE TYPE OF FINANCIAL ADVISERS AND THE TYPE YOU NEED
The services of financial advisers can extend over a wide realm from online robo-advisers to in-person traditional advisers.
They are what we have popularly known as AI software. It’s a digital service at a low cost. Here you answer questions online and the computer algorithm builds a portfolio accordingly based on your risk tolerance and goals. There are a lot of free services involved here. So if you are on a crunch with your finances, and want to plan your retirement or similar goals, you can begin here because the fee begins as low as 0.25% on your balance.
Online Financial Advisers
They are a further step up from the robo advisers. How? It begins with the services of a robo adviser – i.e a computer algorithm creates your portfolio. Then, you additionally get assistance from human financial advisers online, if you further questions. You can say that it somewhat mirrors the services of a traditional financial adviser with the difference being that it will be virtual. A further comprehensive service will involve you getting connected with a particular financial adviser, who will work with you, manage your portfolio and help you in achieving your financial goals. Quite naturally the fee involved for an online financial adviser will be more than a robo adviser but less than a traditional financial adviser. While here also you have services that do not require a minimum investment, but on the flip side, some services require a relatively high investment of $25000.
Traditional Financial Advisers
They are the most common type of financial advisers, the ones we have been hearing about for the longest time. They include certified financial planners, registered investment advisers, financial consultants, and wealth managers. You can meet them in person, discuss your financial goals in depth and plan your portfolio. If you have a complicated financial situation and want a way out, traditional financial advisers will be your best bid. Needless to say, they are the highest-cost option in financial planning. Some of them also require a minimum balance of $250000 in assets.
CREDENTIALS OF FINANCIAL ADVISER
What we might not know is that anyone can become a financial advisor with an ‘O’, but it requires a specific degree to become a financial adviser with an ‘E’. Every individual has got to understand the difference as stated in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), to avoid getting defrauded. Check their records with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the CFP Board, FINRA, and other membership organizations the adviser is associated with. A person could drop out from school, rent an office, pass a FINRA general exam securities exam, and begin trading in the securities market within a week. It will only be a matter of time before they begin calling themselves financial advisors. Exams like Series 6,7, and 63 are what satisfy the industrial requirements. On the flip side, the financial industry is hoarded with professional designations which can be obtained with little or no effort and confuse the general public easily. The leading three most essential certifications that have educational and ethical requirements are Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant ChFC).
TYPES OF FINANCIAL ADVICE
The way financial needs are not the same for every individual, so isn’t the advice. Every financial adviser doesn’t have equal expertise in every field. They specialize in certain types of financial needs, income levels, and investment products. While some work with young clients who have their lives and goals like taxes, insurance needs, estate planning ahead, the others work with senior individuals who want to plan their retirement. While some can work with clients all across the country, the others focus on the ones in the town. There are even financial advisers who help with life stage planning, business planning, and estate distribution strategies
HOW MUCH CAN YOU PAY THE ADVISER
There are many ways in which a financial adviser may be compensated, but the most common type of compensation is commission-based and fee-only based. In a commissioned-based compensation system, the advisor is charged a straight commission every time a financial product is purchased or a transaction happens. While in a fee-based structure can be hourly, or retainer, or a flat ongoing percentage amount derived from assets being managed. Usually the greater the assets, the lower is the percentage. Despite there has been an ongoing conflict between the two types of payment, there is no better one in the scenario. However, there can be a preferred one based on the financial need. For example, if you want someone to be readily available to advise you for your financial needs, address your ongoing questions, update your financial plan a fee-only payment structure will be the correct choice. On the flip side, if you have invested in a plan that you are willing to hold on to for a long while, you will not need constant financial advice. So commission-based fee structure will be apt in this case.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD YOU ASK YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR?
Once you have identified an individual or a firm as your financial advisor, get a detailed understanding of their services. However, these are some basics that you should get as a service
- Will they track your investment based on your expenses?
- Will they file your tax return, and assist you with your other tax-related enquiries?
- Will they include insurance products like life insurance, annuity, long-term care in the services?
- Can they assist you with estate planning and wealth distribution?
- Will they refer you to another professional, if a particular service is not their specialization?
- If something happens to the financial adviser, will there be a succession plan instead?
We hope that the above information will help you in identifying your financial requirements and choose the perfect financial adviser like the Canny Group for yourself.