Learning how to become an effective investor takes a lot of time and energy. Make sure that you're willing to put forth the effort.
Investment Knowledge and the Financial Advisor
Financial advisors have years, even decades, of experience and knowledge that they use to help you invest wisely. Many have important certifications, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), that signal dedication to their craft. Many also undergo training as part of their profession, and most of them are members of associations that require continuous learning and improvement. Clients pay fees to benefit from the time their financial advisors have spent learning, rather than undertaking that training and education themselves.
While working with a financial advisor can help take a great deal of the knowledge burden off of your shoulders, youre never entirely free of all responsibility.
While the vast majority of financial advisors are ethical, you always should ask questions and educate yourself about them. As events with Bernie Madoff and other financial fraud-sters proved, failing to ask questions of your financial advisors can be costly. When choosing a financial advisor, you need to learn about their plans for your money, research the certifying bodies of which they are members, and read reviews of their services that might exist online.
The good news is that once you have learned enough to become an educated consumer, you can have confidence that your money is in the good hands of a professional financial advisor.
Objectivity and the Financial Advisor
With many years of experience helping a large number of clients, financial advisors understand what questions to ask and how to provide objective advice for all situations.
Financial advisors can be a very important part of the financial planning process. They know exactly what to look for when assessing your current financial situation and ask you the tough questions about your financial profile. They understand how to objectively and realistically set goals for you to achieve. Furthermore, they have deep knowledge of the markets and all of the financial vehicles that can help you attain your goals.
A good financial advisor can identify your investment biases and help you avoid making investment decisions based on emotion and gut reaction. They provide objective advice about the markets and what changes you need to make to your investment portfolio.
In addition, a professional advisor can help you through periods of market volatility times when emotions and panic can lead people to make poor decisions about their finances. Markets move in cycles, and financial advisors help you to see the upturn that follows the downturn. By offering that longer-term advice, financial advisors help you avoid reacting emotionally and making mistakes with your investments.
The process of investing is a complex one that involves understanding your level of knowledge, determining the costs youre willing to pay, and answering difficult questions about goals, biases, fears, and comfort levels.
If you are going to use the services of a financial advisor, you save yourself the burden of acquiring a massive amount of financial knowledge, but you should still make sure you are financially literate. Also, you need to ensure that your financial advisor is reputable, a good fit for what youre looking for, and cost effective.
Whichever path you choose, just remember to that you have to attain some level of financial knowledge and experience, understand the costs associated with investing, and be objective and honest about your financial situation. Then its up to you to decide what course of action is best. Start your search for a local financial advisor here.
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