Over half of all Americans, according to CNN, have investments. Why? As Investopedia suggests, the number one reason Americans choose to invest is so they don’t have to spend their entire lives working. Providing for their children is also a huge motivation.
Investing is an important part of securing your future, but investing smartly is far easier said than done. Even if you have a general understanding of investment theory, the stock markets, and a basic knowledge of balancing risk against reward, it’s not going to be enough for ensuring gain while protecting yourself from loss. Using a certified financial advisor, often referred to as a financial planner, however, can improve your chances of successfully investing.
What is a Financial Planner?
As defined by The Wall Street Journal, a financial planner is an investment professional who gives their clients the tools they need to save their money, invest it, and hopefully receive a return on each cent spent. Their services can be used to help finance a home, invest in smart stocks, and more. In a nutshell, certified investment advisors are the people to call when you need to make smart, long-term decisions with your money. Of course, finding a financial planner to fit your needs is not always easy.
How to Find a Financial Advisor
- Look at the Payment Plan
- Don’t Work with Someone Who’s Trying to Sell You Something
- Can They Do Things You Can’t?
- What Clientele Do They Serve?
As The Wall Street Journal suggests, finding a financial planner that fits your needs means looking at payment options. You’ll want to avoid commission-based planners, if only because the services they offered are only brought to the table in hopes of earning more money. On the other hand, planners working on a set fee, usually earning around 1% of your assets, work to help you make more money. It’s mutually beneficial, after all.
When you ask “what is a financial planner,” the answer should never be “a salesman.” Financial planners exist to help you improve your financial well-being, not sell you a product, as Suze Orzman writes for Forbes. Yes, many financial planners offer insurance plans, both for your health and assets, but you shouldn’t ever feel like you’re being pitched to. Your planner should suggest options for your benefit, not so they can earn more.
It may seem common sense, but if you can do everything your planner is offering by yourself, why bother hiring them? Investopedia suggests that if you have an understanding of your investments, take time to read about and research your investments, and have a background in investing, you probably don’t need a planner. However, if you’re lacking in any of these areas, an advisor is crucial.
U.S. News and World Report points out that different planners work with different clients. If you make $300,000 a year, for example, but your financial planner is used to working with upper-middle class families, they aren’t going to have the expertise or experience you need to make smart investments with your larger income. You need to choose an advisor who specializes in assisting investors with the same needs as you.
Now that the question “what is a financial planner” has been answered and you know how to find one to fit your needs, there’s no time to lose. Contact a planner who can protect your investments and secure your legacy by making smarter investments today. Learn more at this link: San francisco financial planner