A financial advisor or financial consultant is a professional that gives specialized financial advisory services to various customers depending on his/her financial status. In most countries, financial advisers must complete certain formal training and pass an exam given by a regulatory body to give professional advice to those who require such advice. It is up to the customer to determine whether an adviser is competent and reliable and if they are well-trained and experienced enough to give them the right kind of financial advice. The term ‘financial advisor’ is often used colloquially to refer to any financial professional, regardless of the particular profession.
There are a number of different types of financial advisors. In the United States, there are insurance underwriters, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, insurance underwriters or insurance sales representatives, insurance sales managers, estate planning or probate representatives, mortgage banker, mortgage brokers, estate planners or probate representatives, and real estate brokers. In Great Britain, financial advisors are known as financial advisors, investment bankers, investment consultants or chartered accountants. In Canada, financial advisors are referred to as certified public accountants, financial investment lawyers, or registered investment dealers.
With the vast variety of financial advisors, it may become confusing to choose who to get advice from. So how do you determine who is a good choice for your needs? First and foremost, you should consider the type of advice they offer. Many financial advisors are generalists who handle a range of financial products including savings accounts, investment management, pension plans, commercial and residential property investment, self-directed investment and tax planning. They can also work with you on issues such as estate planning, asset protection strategies, estate planning strategies and taxation.
If you have specific financial goals and objectives in mind, then you may want to consider hiring a fee-only financial advisor. These types of advisors typically work with individuals or couples, instead of groups. Because they receive no compensation unless they achieve their goals, they are more motivated than a staff member to help you achieve your goals. However, you will have to pay a fee in order to work with them, since they will not charge you a retainer.
Some fee-only financial advisors provide a diverse range of financial advisory services. For example, some provide mortgage insurance and risk management; others manage savings; others help individuals create retirement plans; some provide investment management; and others provide individual investor education and referral services. A fee-based financial advisor may also offer insurance underwriting services. While these types of financial advisors may charge higher fees than traditional financial advisors, they generally provide more comprehensive and efficient services.
If you are looking for financial advisors to help you achieve your wealth goals, you should consider meeting with each one to discuss your goals, objectives, concerns, and expected outcomes. As you meet with your financial advisors, be sure to take note of the key features of their professional styles. Consider how your preferences fit into their professional philosophy. You may also want to ask them about the features that they feel are most important in a financial advisor, such as the ability to meet your needs with flexibility, the ability to effectively communicate with your unique situation, and the ability to guarantee that you achieve your wealth goals. The more features that you find in a financial advisor, the more likely it is that you will be satisfied with their services.