Financial Advisor FAQ

Many investors are initially uneasy about working with a financial advisor, mainly due to lack of information about them. The more you know about professionals in this field, the more you will see that financial advisors are an excellent resource for professional help and advice in a wide variety of situations. Here are a few answers to frequently answered questions about financial advisors.

What is a financial advisor?

A financial advisor is a licensed professional who helps both individuals and businesses who may be experiencing various financial difficulties or challenges. An advisor can help you in a wide variety of situations.

What does a financial advisor do?

A financial advisor is a trained specialist who helps clients with investments and various other financial matters. From retirement planning to brokerage advice to tax planning, financial advisors can help clients in every phase of their financial lives.

Why should I spend money on a financial advisor?

Most commonly, individuals seek the help of a financial advisor for retirement planning. But they can do much more than that. You can get help with college savings, work on household finances and even get out of debt with the help of a financial advisor.

Can I get help with my credit card debts from a financial advisor?

Absolutely. Clients can work with a licensed financial advisor to pay off their debts and get back on track financially. Financial advisors have access to programs most individuals can't get into on their own, and they have connections in the financial industry most of us simply don't have.

How can I choose the right financial advisor?

This is an important choice that should not be taken lightly. Make sure you choose someone you trust and that you wouldn't mind working with over an extended time period. Make sure their area of specialization matches your interests and needs. The world of finance is so broad that many advisors develop specialties as they progress through their careers.

I am already in debt. How can I afford a financial advisor?

The help of a financial advisor may be less expensive than you might think. Depending on the help you are looking for, you could be looking at a fee only situation or commission based pricing.

What's the difference between fee only and commission based advisors?

Fee only financial advisors work for an agreed upon fee that's set prior to the commencement of their work. It could be a flat rate, an hourly rate or a percentage of assets under management (AUM) in some cases. The monies charged are paid directly from the client to the advisor.

Commission based advisors, on the other hand, are compensated by representing certain financial products. Their motivation is to sell the products they represent. They get paid by the companies offering the products rather than by the client.

Why is a financial advisor important to my overall financial plan?

Most investors are not aware of many opportunities that are out there. A financial advisor's job as it pertains to investment is to undertake a thorough assessment of the whole financial picture presented by the client, so that the advisor can come up with an ambitious but reachable goal for that client. A financial advisor is an unbiased and objective observer of the client's patterns of income and expenditures as well, which can be helpful.

How much money do I need to have available in order to invest with a financial advisor?

It depends on the individual advisor. For some, they are happy with any client and will gladly work with you even on small investments. Others focus solely on clients with larger amounts of money to invest, and set minimum standards as such.

Does a financial advisor have to accept me as a client?

In a sense, yes. You will need to provide at least some general information about yourself like your income, net worth, family status and your general financial goals. An advisor could choose not to represent you. It should be a good fit both ways if you are to truly benefit as a client.

Investments

How to Analyze Your Investment

Learning how to analyze your investment before you spend all of your money is critical in today's real estate market. Those of us who buy real estate primarily as a financial investment have an intriguing market to work with right now. Prices are low and many homes are particularly affordable thanks... read more

How to Compute Capital Gains

It is very important to know how to compute capital gains. This skill is essential if investors hope to stay on top of their tax obligations and remain in good standing with the IRS. Failure to pay can lead to serious consequences of many different varieties. So, it is best to simply do things right... read more

How Will My Current Life be Affected by a Financial Strategy?

One of the principal duties of a financial advisor is to sit down with clients and go over their current finances in order to help them develop a short and long term financial strategy. Some people look at advisors as people we go to for help figuring out which retirement fund is best for us. Others... read more

What Issues Should a Financial Advisor Consider as I Get Closer to Retirement?

As you get older and retirement approaches, there are a number of important issues that you must address financially in order to get ready for that big day. If you're lucky, you've already been working with an advisor for some time and your portfolio is in good shape. By all appearances, you should be... read more

What Kinds of Investments do Financial Advisors Invest a Client's Funds In?

Many investors understandably wonder what types of investment opportunities their financial advisor might steer them towards as they work to build up a financial portfolio. There are no hard rules and no generalized answers that apply to every situation, because every investor is different according... read more

Who Sets Goals in Financial Advising?

In any relationship between a financial advisor and a client, there has to be some give and take. Any advisor worth their salt will take the time to get to know the client before making any investment recommendations or goal setting. The critical first step in this relationship is taking the time to... read more

Retirement Planning

What will Affect My Retirement Goals?

It is common among investors to have major questions regarding their retirement portfolios. As time goes by, one of the questions that most commonly come up has to do with the goals reflected in those portfolios. These goals are what inform the building up of a portfolio in the first place; and as they... read more

Will a Financial Advisor Help Coordinate Retirement Benefits Such as Social Security with My Company's Retirement Plan?

Some investors rightfully wonder how their own retirement accounts work with their Social Security benefits. In cases where company employees sign on for sponsored retirement plans like IRAs and 401 accounts with an employer match, it is hard to pass up the free investment money, so the vast majority... read more

Will a Financial Advisor Help Me with My Will and Estate?

Estate planning is a major component of personal finance. Getting your finances in order and getting ready to put kids through college or saving up for retirement are big issues in themselves; but making sure your estate is solvent and your beneficiaries get more of your money with lower tax burdens... read more

Your Advisor

How Does an Advisor Decide Upon the Best Mix of Investments for Me?

When you meet with a financial advisor, it is good to have a fairly solid understanding of the basis for the decisions he or she will try to make on your behalf. Of course, in this relationship you always have final say in terms of the investments you will be making and any decisions to go a certain... read more

How Much Time Can I Expect to Spend With a Financial Advisor?

One of the most pertinent questions an investor might ask in considering whether to enlist the aid of a financial advisor is how much time a representative typically spends with a client in establishing a strategy and working on investments on the client's behalf. It is a fair question, and probably... read more

How Much Will the Financial Advisor Explain About My Financial Investments?

Many people are hesitant to enlist the services of a financial advisor simply because of uncertainty about the nature of the relationship the two would have to one another. Some clients hope and expect their finance pro to tell them every last detail about decisions they make and investments they choose.... read more

Once a Financial Advisor Designs My Strategy, Am I Done?

When a financial advisor designs a short and long term financial strategy on behalf of a client, the first thing the client has to do is to implement the immediate changes called for in that strategy. For any short and long term goals to be achieved in these situations, investors have to work hand in... read more

What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

A financial advisor is someone who tends to wear many different hats professionally. Depending on the needs of the client, an advisor may concentrate on budgeting for monthly expenses, debt relief, short term investments, college savings, or retirement investments. There are other areas of expertise... read more

What Information Will I Have to Have if I See a Financial Advisor?

When you meet with a financial advisor, you should be prepared ahead of time with as much financial information as possible. From your record of assets versus liabilities to insurance information, advisors need to see it all in order to serve you the best they can. When you have a meeting upcoming with... read more

What is Financial Advising?

Financial advising is the work performed by a financial advisor. In a general sense, it is the process of coming up with and implementing a strategy to help you manage your finances and give you a hand in achieving your financial goals. These goals likely include those of the long term variety, but advisors... read more

Who are Financial Advisors?

Financial advisors are individuals who specialize in helping clients manage their finances, from family budgeting to college savings to retirement portfolio strategies. These financial professionals are capable of taking on challenges in any area of investors' financial lives. Tax strategies, insurance... read more

Find a Financial Advisor

Find an Advisor

Financial Advice

We can help you find a financial advisor

Our specialists will conduct a custom search to find local planners and advisors who meet your specific requirements.

"Unless you already know about working with an advisor, it can be hard to figure out which one to go with. This site helped me decide on the type of advisor that was right for me and my financial situation. Thanks!"

Randy S, Green Bay WI