Are you looking for professional help in your next investment? It’s no wonder that many people turn to professionals to be able to decide what to invest in. You may be wondering where to start. You might be looking for someone that you can meet in-person, or you might find an online service to be a better fit. Either way, here are some of our tips that will help you find your next financial advisor.
What Is a Financial Advisor?
A financial advisor helps you achieve your financial goals. The services provided by a financial advisor can range from fully managing your finances to helping you budget your investment planning. A financial advisor covers a broad spectrum of people and services, and it can also be in the form of an online investment management service, otherwise known as a robo-advisor.
So, what types of services does a financial advisor offer you? This is rather broad, since there are many different types of services available, depending on the type of advisor. Ideally, an advisor will ask you what your goals are and assess your current financial situation. When it comes to investing, a financial advisor can recommend certain investment schemes or manage a portfolio for you. Next, you’ll find out about the different types of financial advisors available.
Different Types of Financial Advisors
In the digital age, having a financial advisor can be purely online instead of in-person. Here is a list of the different types of financial advisors that you can consider working with. Make sure to check the credibility and experience of a certified financial planner (CFP) when choosing someone to work with. Depending on your location, there are various exams or certifications that one must pass in order to “officially” be able to give financial advice.
These are actual people that can offer you their professional services. Sometimes one advisor can cover more than a few areas that are listed below. There are a few different types of specialists that you might consider hiring:
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
A CFP provides financial planning advice.
A broker or stockbroker sells a client’s financial products. This is paid for by a fee or on a commission basis.
- Registered Investment Advisor
A fee is paid to a registered investment advisor to help with investment and financial planning. This can be specific, like having a portfolio, or broader, covering financial planning as well.
- Wealth Manger
These are often hired by higher net clients that often require full financial management.
These digital services are often quite affordable. Usually, you fill out a form and a computer algorithm will create an investment portfolio based on your goals. These services monitor your investments and regularly adjust it. If you are looking for an affordable way to manage your portfolio, this may be a great option for you.
Online Financial Planning Services
This is a good mix between a robo-advisor and an actual person offering you help. Online financial planning services give you online access to actual financial advisors. This can help with saving time to get the services you are looking for.
Some of these services can manage your portfolio like a robo-advisor, but then you can consult with an actual person online. You can often find services that match you with a suitable financial advisor based on your goals and required services.
How to Choose a Financial Advisor
There are a few key tips to consider when choosing your next financial advisor. Make sure to study up before paying someone and finding out later that you could have benefited from a different service.
1. What type of service do you want?
If you are looking for some advice for managing your investments, but it’s nothing too complicated, then a robo-advisor could be sufficient enough. Robo-advisors often have a low or no account minimum. If you are requiring more in-depth consulting, then an online planning service or an in-person financial advisor could be a better fit. Online services often have a lower account minimum than in-person advisors. Depending on your needs, you can start out with a robo-advisor or online service and adjust your service requirements as your finances change or require more assistance.
2. What cost are you comfortable with?
In terms of the three groups of financial advisors we covered, robo-advisors usually charge an annual percentage of your managed assets of around 0.25%-0.50%. Online financial services often offer more services, so they charge a bit higher price. This can be a subscription fee, a percentage of your assets, or both. Check the terms with each online service to find something that fits your needs. Traditional in-person financial advisors are usually the most expensive. The percentage fee can be around 1%, or it can be a flat or hourly rate. The minimum account balance may also be higher than a robo-advisor and online planning service.
3. What qualifications does the financial advisor have?
Always do your research before hiring a new financial advisor or service. Depending on your area, there are certifications that you should look out, and make sure you see how much other advisors or services are charging. This will give you a better idea of what price might suit you. Also, check for any past conflicts of interest or disciplinary actions from the service or advisor.
This quick overview on choosing a financial advisor may help you if you are choosing one for the first time. Be sure to check the credentials and have your financial goals aligned with the services you are requesting.
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