What is most common about working people all over the world is that they slog to make a living. However, the sad truth is not many plan their finances. Many people have long and short-term goals for the future but it is imperative to have proper financial planning in place for these goals to be met. If you are among these many people that do not have a financial plan in place than you should consider creating one. Though there is nothing wrong in doing your own financial planning, hiring the service of a financial advisor will give you much greater edge over the planning of your investments.
It begins with choosing the right advisor for you. This one of the most crucial decisions you will make as the person you choose will affect your investment choices, which in turn will affect your long term planning. You have to be thorough in choosing the right expert, and for that, you need ample information. The following points will help your decision-making.
1. Type of Advisor: Advisors are generally of four types – Registered representatives, financial planners, advisors, and money managers. Registered representatives are all the commission-based workers such as stockbrokers, investment professionals, and bank representatives. As financial planners do not need licensing, anyone can be one. For this reason, if you do consider this category then be sure to stick to qualified individuals that are certified in CFP, PFS, or ChFC. The financial advisor is certified with the highest standard. They are also called registered advisor representative (RAI) or investment advisor representatives (IAR). Money managers are most similar to financial advisors; however, they make investing decision without the consent of the client. If you want to be fully dependent on a professional only then go for these.
2. Compare: Be sure to speak to the advisor that you shortlist for their qualification and general record. Speaking to them will give you an insight into their knowledge and understanding of the investment and stock markets. You will also be able to gauge their strength and weaknesses if any. Choose the one with the right combination of qualification, experience, and professionalism.
3. Affordability: There is a misconception that the more money you pour the better quality you get. The truth is this is not applicable in all scenarios. There are chances that a busy investment professional will not be able to pay your case complete attention. For this reason, you need to judge which advisor is committed to your case and benefit.
4. The Internet: The world of internet is vast and there are chances that you will find a wealth of information, reviews, ratings, and even testimonials about the advisors you have shortlisted. The best part is this information is not controlled therefore is an honest account of the record of your advisor. You can even check references to know which advisor has the credibility and experience that suits you best.
Overall, you need an advisor that has a finger on your pulse when it comes to planning your finances. The investment strategy differs from person to person and therefore choosing financial experts that understand this well is the best way forward.