How often have you heard the expression: Basic personal finance isn’t rocket science, or beyond the average person’s abilities. The other, “it’s not brain surgery”. But there’s no shame in seeking advice from a quality financial adviser (or advisor), either.
Nevertheless, I think a simple conversation can lead to anything. Literally, anything. I believe that someone from any pay grade can benefit from the advice of a QUALITY financial advisor. It’s then up to you to decide if you want to follow that advice.
Got a headache? See your doctor.
A toothache? See your dentist.
A money problem — too much or too little –? Well, that’s when you need a good financial adviser.
How to tell if you need a financial adviser?
That’s easy, according to Evan Welch, the Chief Investment Officer and a Partner of Antaeus Wealth Advisors, explains his reasons to hire a financial advisers (or investors, for that matter.)
1. Objective, informed advice
2. Help with setting realistic and personal financial goals
3. Free up your time by delegating
4. Enjoy peace of mind
5. Asset protection and strategies designed to minimize threats to your wealth
6. Integrating advice with your CPA, estate attorney and other professional advisors
7. Multi-generational planning
8. Aligning your behavior and money with your values
9. Investment management: tax alpha, reducing internal costs, fundamental diversification, alternative investments
10. Protect yourself from making emotional investment decisions (i.e. decisions dictated by fear and greed)
11. Monitoring and tracking progress toward your goals
12. Good planning is just as important as good investing
13. Providing wisdom: information without wisdom is worthless
The decision about whether to seek advice can be critical. If you do choose to seek advice, carefully choose the right professional … It’s for roughly the same reason you hire an attorney. You don’t have the skills to handle a divorce or a property dispute.
You want to start your search by looking into the alphabet soup of credentials after the name:
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP): CFP professionals have passed a national test covering Insurance Planning, Investment and Securities Planning, State and Federal Income Tax Planning, Asset Protection Planning, Retirement Planning, and Employee Benefits Planning administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) – they pass national exams in insurance, estate planning and related subjects and have business experience in the insurance industry.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): CFA professionals are experienced financial analysts who have passed exams in economics, corporate finance, financial reporting and analysis, financial accounting, portfolio management, security analysis and standards of conduct.
Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC): The ChFC professionals are the insurance industry’s financial planning designates. They qualified to assist individuals, professionals, and small-business owners with comprehensive financial planning, including insurance, income taxation, retirement planning, investments, and estate planning.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): specialists are certified public accountants who have earned the financial planner designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Here are 5 questions you’ve always wanted to ask your financial advisor – and probably should.
1. How many clients do you have? – The typical financial advisor served 156 households last year, according to a December 2013 report by PriceMetrix, which helps wealth management firms optimize revenue opportunities through the use of practice intelligence, industry know-how and actionable data.
2. How much money do you make? – The median annual salary for financial advisors was $67,520 in 2012, report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the lowest-paid earning less than $32,280 and the highest-paid earning at least $187,199.
3. How do you get new clients?
4. Do you invest the same way you tell me to?
5. How do you make money off my account? – There are many ways financial advisors can be paid: commissions, sales charges, commissions plus fees, salary plus bonus.
Finally, beware of any financial advisers (or investors) who swears you’ll always be the boss. Ask around. Consult friends in similar circumstances. You also need to ask yourself what kind of help you’re looking for and how much and in what form you’re wiling to pay for it.