Each year, millions of Americans invest their hard-earned money in the stock market. The majority of these investors have no doubt been very pleased with the returns they have been able to generate over the years. However, investing isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem. To be a successful investor, it’s important to choose the right strategy, associate with the right people, and avoid the worst mistakes.

When it comes to managing our finances, many of us turn to our bank for guidance. But when it comes to investing our money, we often turn to our bank for only one thing: a loan. But if you have a larger financial goal in mind, such as retirement or college for your children, you’ll want to find a financial advisor who can help you reach it. 

Finding the right financial advisor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a consumer. It’s a relationship that will affect the way you manage your money and the kind of advice you receive. It’s also one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make. You have thousands of options when it comes to finding a financial advisor, and it can be hard to know who to trust. When it comes to finding a financial advisor, there are a few things to consider. Below are some of them.

Know what financial services you need

It’s important to know what financial services you need to make an informed decision. If you’re not sure, here are some questions to help you identify your financial needs:

  • Do you require budgeting assistance?
  • Do you need assistance with investing?
  • Do you want to make a financial plan?
  • Do you need to update your estate plan or establish a trust?
  • Do you require tax assistance?

Your responses will help you figure out the kind of financial advisor you’ll require. If your financial situation is complicated, we recommend consulting with a traditional or online financial advisor.

Learn which financial advisors have your back

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Investment advisors, brokers, professional financial planners, financial coaches, and portfolio managers are all terms used to describe financial advisors. Even financial therapists exist. So who is responsible for what, and whom can you trust?

Because some of the most frequent titles used by advisers, including the word “financial advisor,” aren’t related to any specific credentials, don’t presume that everyone who uses any of these titles title has any special training or qualifications. Anyone who provides investment advice must be licensed as an investment advisor by either the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the state involved in the assets under management.

Some financial advisors owe their clients a fiduciary obligation, which means they must operate in their clients’ best interests rather than their own. Always engage with a professional, registered fiduciary – preferably one you pay directly rather than through commissions for selling specific investment or insurance products. As part of their accreditation, certified financial planners have a fiduciary obligation to their clients.

Whatever title, classification, certification, or license an advisor claims to possess, it is your responsibility to investigate the advisor’s credentials and experience. Before agreeing to deal with an advisor, always examine their background or work history.

Learn about financial advisor options

Financial advisors aren’t limited to your local bank or advisory office. Financial advice is available in a variety of methods. Your personal tastes, the services you require, and your budget will likely determine which option is best for you.

Online financial advisors and planning services 

Virtual access to human financial counselors is provided through an online financial planning service. When you have questions, the service may provide automatic investment management and the chance to consult with a team of financial consultants.

Some online services are similar to traditional financial planners in that you will be connected with a dedicated human financial advisor who will handle your investments and collaborate with you to develop a comprehensive financial plan. Many online financial advisors may connect you with a top-tier credentialed advisor, like a certified financial planner.

Online financial advisers and planning services are useful if you prefer meeting with an advisor over the phone or online but still require comprehensive financial planning services like estate or retirement planning, or assistance with company stock options.

Traditional financial advisors

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Traditional financial advisors are available to meet with you in person and assist you with all aspects of financial planning.

If you require specialist services or if your situation is complex, you should meet your financial advisor in person and establish a long-term relationship with them.

Consider your budget for an advisor

Although financial counselors have a reputation for being expensive, there is a solution for every budget. Before committing to services, you should know how much a financial advisor charges.

Typically, online financial planning firms and advisors charge a flat subscription fee, a portion of your assets, or both. For example, a financial advisor may charge 0.49 percent to 0.89 percent of assets under management annually, while another may charge a yearly fee starting at $1,800 and increases depending on how complicated your financial position is. Portfolio management and financial planning are often included in the fees.

Traditional financial advisors also frequently take a percentage of the amount managed, with an average fee of 1%. However, this might vary for small and big accounts. Others may require a retainer, a set cost, or an hourly rate.

Your budget and assets determine the amount you should pay for a financial advisor, and the quality of financial advice you require.

Examine the background of the financial advisor

If you decide to deal with a traditional financial advisor, do your homework first. Check any certifications they claim to have and discover if they’ve had any disciplinary issues like fraud. If you choose an online financial advisor, it’s not a bad idea to do verification as well. 

Financial Advisory by Savvy Financials

Investing in a financial advisor is one of the best things you can do for your money. They can help you better understand how to invest and can make sure you’re getting the best advice for your portfolio. At Savvy Financials, we are committed to helping you and your family make smart decisions and build a strong financial future.

We offer comprehensive financial planning services and personalized advice. Our insights are based on our over 70 years of experience helping people plan their financial future. Contact Savvy Financials today and learn more about keeping your money safe and growing your wealth.