With so many financial advisors offering similar services, what sort of expectations should you have?
There are many reasons why millions of people seek the advice of a financial advisor. Maybe you want to create a budget or begin investing. Maybe you’re ready to start a retirement plan. No matter your reasons, a financial advisor is ready to offer advice and lead you through a thoughtful process toward financial independence.
While you may know the types of services a financial advisor offers, do you really know what to look for in terms of your overall experience?
Here are a few things you should look for in your relationship with a financial advisor:
Working with a financial advisor should be like working with a coach who is preparing you for something very specific and important.
To build a financial plan that will help you reach your goals, your financial advisor needs to first discover what is most important to you. A good financial advisor goes beyond dollars and cents and hopes and dreams. They will carefully weigh your goals with your financial reality. With their expertise, they can steer you towards your goals so that you will be successful without encountering hurdles along the way. It’ easier to know where we want to end up financially, but we just don’t know how to get there. The best financial advisors recognize that it’s not just meeting the big goals at the end, but it’s setting smaller and smarter goals along the way.
Working with a financial advisor should feel like you are progressing in the right direction.
If you aren’t moving closer to your financial goals, than what is the point? It’s for this reason that people seek a financial advisor to help them get focused and clear on what they are trying to accomplish and why. And when it comes to getting the best returns from your investment portfolio, asset management is key. A financial advisor will reallocate, diversify and rebalance your assets as necessary to help create growth in your portfolio in a way that is less risky than investing in equities. The market has the greatest impact on your portfolio, but it is not within your advisor’s control. Actively or passively managing your assets, however, enables your advisor to take advantage of dislocations in the market. .
Objective Financial Advice
Working with a financial advisor should feel like working with a friend who always tells you the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it.
Your advisor will be able to keep you accountable to your financial plan and remind you of your goals. If they observe behaviors that could undo or compromise your financial goals, they will tell you. Just like a good friend has your best interests in mind, so too does your financial advisor. Working with a financial advisor will help you to remain steadfast in your efforts if spending or saving behaviors are necessary for you to reach certain goals. As an objective third party, you can expect that our financial advisor will adequately manage you almost as much as they manage your assets.
Working with a financial advisor should be a fulfilling experience that winds up paying for itself.
If you thought making a financial plan was complicated, think about the tax implications of your plan and investments! Your financial advisor should be well-versed in tax-efficient strategies and help you reduce your exposure to taxes as much as possible (within legal limits!). No one wants to pay more in taxes, or even fees for that matter, than they have to. Therefore, it is worth noting that financial advisors that offer the added value of helping you keep as much of your money as possible is always a good thing.
Working with a financial advisor should be a positive experience. Seek out a great advisor, and your benefits will be greater as they go several steps further to secure your financial health.
Chris Hardy - CFP®, EA, ChFC®, CLU®,