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A financial advisor can be hired to help you manage your finances. Whether you are looking to invest, thinking about your retirement or trying to resolve debt issues, these qualified professionals can assist you in making smart decisions so that you achieve financial wellness. This guide provides useful tips on how to find the right financial advisor for you.



What Is A Financial Advisor?


Financial advisors offer a service to those looking for assistance in handling their finances. Whether they are trying to resolve existing issues or reach financial goals, examples of what financial advisors can help with include:

  • Debt management
  • Tax returns
  • Building credit
  • Investment advice
  • Saving methods
  • Estate planning
  • Retirement funds
  • Financial planning
  • Lending
  • Life insurance
  • Budgeting tips
  • Cash flow management
  • Selling financial securities such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds

Financial professionals are trained to help you spot mistakes, overcome financial challenges and maximize your financial prosperity. They usually charge a fee for their services, although this depends on the circumstance as if they are helping you with investments they may just take a cut of the profits.


How Do I Choose The Right Financial Advisor For Me?


Finding the right financial advisor for you can feel overwhelming. This is especially the case since there are a lot of people who call themselves financial experts but they may not be qualified to give you monetary advice or have your best interests at heart. For this reason, it is essential to take a close look at the credentials of prospective advisors and to check whether they have a fiduciary duty to their clients, which means they are obligated to act in your favour rather than their own.

You should also work out what your financial needs and goals are as you can look for a professional who specializes in that relevant area, for instance retirement planning or wealth management. Additional examples are included in the table below:

Credentials Speciality
Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) Debt and money management
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Financial planning
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Taxes
Enrolled Agent (EA) Taxes
Registered Investment Adviser Investment
Registered Representative Investment


What Should I Consider When Looking For The Right Financial Advisor?


When choosing a financial advisor, you should consider the fee compensation. Financial professionals tend to have different ways of charging people so it is important to take into account their fee structure before going ahead to make sure it is financially viable for you. 

Whilst some operate on a fee-only basis or retainer and give you an upfront quote, others may charge a percentage based on the assets they advise you on. Those selling you products or services such as life insurance may not charge you anything but they may make a commission from that sale from the provider.

To find the right fit, make sure that you feel comfortable with the advisor and their communication style. If you find that they are pressurizing and rushing you to take out certain products or you are struggling to understand their advice, then they may not be best for you. Likewise, if they exaggerate their offerings or potentially offer advice that seems too good to be true, it might be worth getting a second opinion to validate their claims. 

It would be sensible to get testimonials or read reviews on the advisor you have chosen. Or perhaps you could ask family, friends or peers who seem to be managing their finances successfully for recommendations if they know of any good financial advisors near you. 


What Are the Benefits Of A Financial Advisor?


There are many benefits of using a financial expert. Whether they can help you consolidate debt, spot mistakes in your tax returns, educate you on important financial topics or help you find efficient ways to boost your savings, it is certainly a valuable investment into your monetary future.

With the cost of living increasing and it becoming increasingly difficult to save for your retirement, having expert advice on ways to prepare for your future is arguably priceless. Especially since most US workers have much more responsibility for their retirement savings now compared to pensions in the past. Financial professionals can look into your employee benefits and work out the best way for you to formulate a retirement plan.

Advisors can help you restore confidence in your financial dealings, especially since they know how to handle financial difficulties and can help you navigate any financial setbacks you may face. They can also strategize with you to help you pay off student loans, provide guidance on how to start investing or on the best life insurance to purchase.



What If I Cannot Afford A Financial Adviser?


If you cannot afford to pay for a financial advisor, consider local community programs. Libraries also offer financial resources at a low cost or free of charge. 

Many banks and brokerages offer free online libraries filled with financial advice and tools. There are also many organizations like the Foundation for Financial Planning which offer free help to those looking for advice such as army veterans.


Concluding Thoughts


There is no doubt that choosing the right financial advisor should be done carefully. This will stand you in good stead as they can give you the support you need for money management both in the present and for the future.

Financial planners can benefit those of all ages, ranging from offering tips for young adults trying to pay off student debt to financial options for people over 75. As long as you verify your professional’s credentials and make sure that they have your best interests at heart, then you should be on your way to financial wellness!

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Justine Gray

Justine Gray is a contributor to Pheabs, sharing more than 10 years of experience in the consumer finance industry across the US. Follow her guides for financial advice, money saving tips and more. Follow them on Linkedin and Youtube.