If you’re like me, you too spend all your hard earned money with both hands open ending up having zilch for savings and the least for that last week of the month. Well, people like you and me need a professional financial advisor to handle our finances, somebody who knows the good market and the bad and excels at knowing us, our lifestyle, our financial situation, banking, life goals and credit needs to strategically plan our money stability.
A financial advisor (or adviser) is a finance expert known to aid his customers in their investment decisions, advising when necessary through investment management, estate planning and income tax preparations. An ideal Financial Advisor provides you with the products and services depending on the licenses he holds. He may even be a multi-tasker, say, a broker being a financial planner or an insurance agent providing life insurances and annuities, both. Their primary goal is to make their customers save and invest fruitfully.
Your stockbroker, investment manager, insurance agent, financial or estate planner, accountant or even your bankers are all but your financial advisor.
Choosing a financial advisor is as difficult as choosing your bottle of state etched wine. The most expensive could turn out to be a bad taste than a newer brand, just like your money planner. An ideal money advisor possesses following traits:
- His knowledge claims his authenticity: I’m not talking about knowledge of the universe but of finances and businesses from in and out. His knowledge is what makes him the professional in the field and his authenticity makes you hire him. He who knows good market from bad may ensure worthy outputs of your hard earned money. His knowledge of finances as a whole and your finances in particular ensures your confidence in him.
- Being on his feet and proactive: ‘Customer satisfaction is our priority’ claim many, but those who deliver it are the ones you need. When money is the concern, your advisor cannot be ducking you. An ideal advisor meets you at least once a year to plan, update and strategize. He’s ever-available and as good as the corporate ads promise.
- His knowledge, your information: The fact that he knows the terms and value of finances isn’t enough, he must be able to explain those to you as well. Clarity of risks and discernment of values is necessarily his input. With his information, you dictate the direction of the investments. A professional advisor makes complex finance related terms easy for you to understand.
- An ideal advisor has an ideal market reputation: and not only his but his company’s at that. The success rate of the company and its personnel shouldn’t be too good to be true. He at all times has a steady support from his team and experts to meet his client’s specific needs.
- Isn’t panicky: If my monthly income was dependent on managing someone else’s money, I’d be panicking my nerves out, but a fitting finance advisor doesn’t. He’s calm with no sense of urgency whatsoever, ensuring your long term growth and stability in the process. He strategically plans, keeping alternatives at hand while evaluating optimal options for you. His plan of action is clear like a traveller with a map.
- He’s significantly experienced: He meets standards of experience, financial ethics and continued academics to maintain his reputation as a professional.
- You will never understand your finances like he does: He will take his time to learn about your financial situation, banking, investment, insurance, future plans and credit needs to efficiently plan your money flow. Knowing your spending habits, debt and obligations and life goals helps him in accurate finance planning.
- Works for you, with you: As much as any professional loves to get over with his hours of work, a financial advisor is a friendly shoulder working for you and your closed ones throughout the year. He establishes continuity in the relationship and pays the best of his attention to your finances. He never pushes products on you to get the work done and run of with their big fat commission, but rather puts your interests first.
- His compensations are reasonable: Compensations are fees, commissions, or both. Lower compensations may render low-level services and the higher ones could refrain you from having a financial planner at all. An ideal advisor charges reasonably through mark-ups, loads or fee for assets under management.
- Your expectations are worked upon: Whenever you are unsure of your savings and want the backup plans made catering to those relying upon you, your financial advisor is there to guide you.
In today’s time, finance planning is a growing necessity. Most of us do not have enough time to manage it for ourselves and hence hiring a professional for the same isn’t such a bad idea. Who knows, he might just end up helping you take your family to Disney World, or better, even own something like that.