When choosing a financial advisor, make sure it fits your financial situation and budget. Here, we are going to give you some tips for choosing the right advisor for you. Financial advisors can help you manage your finances and achieve your financial goals.
They can offer various financial planning services, such as investment management, budgeting guidance, money management, and more. However, there are a few financial advisors who possess additional certifications or are experts in complicated financial topics like tax preparation, insurance needs, or estate planning.
The key is choosing the right financial advisor that fits your current situation. This way, you can avoid working with an advisor who is not appropriate for your financial goals. The following are some tips that can help you find the right financial advisor for you.
1. Determine Your Financial Needs
There are several services that financial advisors can provide. Therefore, it would be a good idea to figure out what kind of help you need before you start your search. Some financial advisors might be experts in certain areas of finance, such as investment advice, debt management, etc. While other advisors can offer you holistic assistance such as estate planning, retirement planning, savings goals, etc.
By asking yourself some questions, you will be able to understand why you are looking for financial help.
- Do you need help investing?
- Are you having problems with your budget?
- Do you need help reaching your savings goals?
- Do you want to create your own financial plan?
- Do you need help with your taxes?
- Are you planning to create a trust, or do you want to organize your estate plan?
- Do you want to know more about holistic financial management?
Answering these questions can help you figure out the type of financial advisor you require. In addition, it can also help you decide whether you need one after all.
For instance, if you simply need help with investing, you can use a robo-advisor to handle the investment for you, and it only requires a minimal fee. However, if you have a complicated financial life and many financial concerns to address, then you might consider working with a traditional or an online financial advisor.
2. Learn About the Different Types of Financial Advisors
Financial advisors can go by various names, such as brokers, investment advisors, certified financial planners, portfolio managers, financial coaches, or financial therapists.
However, keep in mind that these titles do not specifically indicate their credentials. Therefore, you should never assume that a person with an official-sounding title has special credentials or training. So, who among them can you trust and what does each of them do? There are ways to ensure that you are working with the right person.
It is advisable to choose a financial advisor who has a fiduciary obligation to their clients. In other words, they should act on behalf of their clients’ interests instead of their own.
Choose to work with a registered fiduciary to ensure that you are the one paying the advisor and not through commissions they obtained from selling insurance or investment products. Also, financial advisors who are designated as certified financial planners (CFP) have a fiduciary obligation to their clients as part of their certification.
A person who provides investment advice should register as an investment advisor, either in their state or with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registered investment advisors (RIA) can be either a company or an individual.
3. Understand Your Financial Advisor Options
Some people think that financial advisors can only be found in banks or advisory offices. However, there are several ways you can access financial advice. The option that’s appropriate for you will greatly depend on the services you require, your personal preferences, and your budget.
This digital service provides simplified investment management. All you need to do is answer some questions online, and computer software will develop an investment portfolio for you based on your risk tolerance and goals.
This option is perfect for those on a limited budget since robo-advisors have low costs or no cost at all. Additionally, most of these services have low or no minimums, so you can invest with any amount.
It is best to use this if you need assistance in investing for financial goals such as your retirement plan and can’t afford or aren’t interested in having a complete financial plan.
However, if you require more rigorous financial planning, it’s best to look for other options. Although some robo-advisors can provide advanced financial planning services, they are primarily good at providing simple investment management.
Online Financial Advisors
Choosing this option provides you with access to human financial advisors. This service provides you with automated investment management generated by a robo-advisor, with the addition of a consultation from a group of financial advisors in case you have inquiries.
There are also more comprehensive services that are similar to traditional financial planners. They will help you find a financial advisor who can assist you in managing your investments and creating a holistic financial plan. Most often, these online financial advisors will provide you with someone who has top credentials, such as a certified financial planner.
Traditional Financial Advisors
If you need help with all your financial planning needs and prefer meeting with your advisor in person, then you should go for traditional financial advisors. Keep in mind that this is the highest-cost option.
Most often, traditional advisors will charge 1% of your assets under their management. Some advisors may also require a high minimum balance, such as $250,000 in assets.
This specialized service is appropriate if you are in a complicated situation and want to establish a lasting relationship with an advisor in person. However, if you want the same services for a lower cost and are comfortable meeting with your advisor online, then you should look for other options.
4. Determine Your Budget
Many people think that financial advisors are expensive. However, there is an option for every budget. It is crucial to know how much you need to spend on a financial advisor before committing to their services.
Typically, robo-advisors charge an annual fee that comprises a percentage of your account balance. Some may charge 0.25% of the assets they are handling for you. Online financial planning services may charge a percentage of your assets, a flat fee, or both. Traditional financial advisors usually charge a percentage of the amount they manage.
At Savvy Financials, we offer simplified financial solutions, including financial advisory, accounting, bookkeeping, consulting, payroll services, and taxation. For more information, you can get in touch with us through this link.