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.


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