Financial advisers are professionals who offer a broad spectrum of services. Finding a trusted financial adviser is the first step to planning your finances for whole life. This can even include retirement and estate planning.
Financial Planners and Investment Advisers
Investment advisers consult with clients and guide them to create an investment portfolio that provides the result the client needs – capital growth, income streams, security of investments.
A Financial planner is a broad term. They can be an investment adviser, while the reverse isn’t always true. A financial planner offers advice on many different aspects of the financial affairs of the client.
Advisory or Fiduciary Services?
An investment adviser might act in just an advisory capacity, giving suggestions to the client on the best securities that suit the client’s aims.
They may also act in a fiduciary capacity, completely managing the client’s investment affairs making decisions about selling or buying securities, about long term investments etc, If you’re looking for fiduciary services, choose financial advisers who are also certified or registered. They should be governed by a regulatory authority to provide great service.
A fiduciary must put the client’s interests above their own. For instance, when providing investment advice, they must fully understand your requirements and pick the best investments for you instead of choosing investments that may pay themselves a higher commission.
Investment advisers who are registered with the Security Exchange Commission or the state securities board are the best people to act in a fiduciary capacity. They are governed by the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and must operate to a set of standards.
For complete financial planning services, seek professionals who have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. To achieve the CFP designation, the financial consultant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and have a certain amount of experience in the financial advisory field.
They must also complete the required CFP educational program and pass an exam to get certified. A CFP is expected to conform to a code of ethics in their professional services.
A Financial Planner can offer comprehensive services to clients. This can range from personal budgeting to investment management and asset allocation, tax planning and tax preparation, retirement planning and estate planning.
When seeking the service of financial consultants, do some research. Read about their professional qualifications, their experience, and their reputation in the industry. If you’re looking for a good financial adviser, look at the top 100 or top 50 lists prepared by financial print publications or websites. You can pick the 10 best financial advisers across the country or the 10 best financial advisers in your state and choose one you think you’ll be comfortable with.
It’s never too late or too early to start financial planning. Find a good financial planner and manage your finances in such a way that you’ll be set for a comfortable life after retirement.