Most of the times when the word financial advisor is used people think there is millions involved but that is not true. When you are sick you see a doctor and when you want to relax you might head to the spa. The idea is that a financial advisor is your money doctor. They help you when you need to solve money matters whether millions or pennies are involved.
Maybe you’ve come into a large inheritance or your own income popped suddenly. Maybe you gave birth to triplets or recently divorced. Maybe you just bought or sold a business. Or maybe you just feel uneasy about your money — you’re not sure where it’s going now or how far it will take you in the future.
Whatever your money problem — too much or too little — a financial planner can probably help.
“Many people don’t realize that hiring a financial planner can be a good investment,” says Gerri Detweiler, radio host and author of “Slash Your Debt.” “If you find yourself letting important financial decisions go because you just don’t seem to get around to them, you might want to talk to a financial planner to get those jobs done.”
If you discern that you do need financial advice it is important to first of all find out what sort of financial advice you need. Did you just get an inheritance or do you want to know what to do with your compensation? There are different reasons as there are different types of financial advisors.
Financial advisers come in different guises and aren’t always called ‘financial advisers’.
Sometimes they are named by their specialism such as ‘mortgage adviser’, ‘investment adviser’, ‘pension adviser’ or ‘financial planner’. Sometimes they are known as ‘brokers’ – often when dealing with products like home and car insurance, mortgages or investments like shares.
Advisers who deal with: Investments; pensions; retirement income products (such as annuities) and general financial planning
Since January 2013, advisers recommending these types of products must charge a fee for the advice they give and carry higher levels of qualifications. Prior to this, many were paid by commission collected from charges on the products they sold.
Advisers who deal with: Mortgages and equity release
Mortgage advisers must have specific mortgage qualifications. Advisers recommending equity release products must also have a specialist qualification in equity release.
Now that you know the benefits of consulting a financial advisor it is important to know the aspects to look at when seeking one. A good financial advisor must be a good business person. A blind man cannot lead another blind man. A reliable advisor is one who speaks from authority. They have earned respect through the various consultations they have had with clients.
- A Good Business Person
Having an established track-record as a good business person is fundamental to being an effective broker or financial advisor, in my view. How somebody can handle millions of dollars of other people’s money and have no clue as to how to run a business is beyond me. Find an advisor who is independent, respected in the industry, and understands from experience the ins and outs of running a business. That includes hiring and firing employees, supervising customer service staff, and delegating issues as they come up for effective responses, instead of doing absolutely everything themselves.
- Respected Authority
Does your advisor have the expertise and the independence to write about subjects that are relevant to you? Do they have a website that includes well-written, thoughtful articles or books (or both) that outline their attitudes, perspectives and viewpoints on the financial matters that are important to you? Independent advisors will tend to have their own in-depth websites, rather than shallow sites linked to big brokerage houses. It is also a plus if that advisor has an established media presence, indicating they’ve earned the media’s trust and respect for the knowledge and advice they can provide. Television and radio turn to people in the community who can speak authoritatively on a range of subjects. Has your advisor been the local expert that media turn to? This can be a concrete indication of a good reputation.