Do You Need a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor can help keep you on the right track with your finances.

If you’re wondering whether your need a financial advisor or not, then the answer is probably yes. The specifics become murkier when faced with the decision of seeking out what type of financial advisor you’d like to aid you on your financial planning journey - do you want a machine to analyze your finances? However, would you rather put a face to a name and hire a person to do the job? If so, are you looking for a wealth manager or asset manager? 

The world of financial planning is a vast one, and it’s okay if you’re unsure where to start. The fact that you’re trying to take control of your finances and your future is the most important. You may be surprised to find out that although there’s a lot to learn in the financial world, the answers are quite simple.

There’s No “Right” Time

The sooner you realize that everyone is different and there’s truly no “right” time to seek out a financial advisor, the better off you’ll feel and be. There are some basic guidelines you should consider if you’re still unsure as to whether this is the right step for you or not.

Consider the expense: financial advisors are expenses, but we’ll dive into another option that is less so. Make sure you’re comfortable investing in starting what for most people will be a lifetime relationship with your financial advisor and that you feel comfortable investing at this point in your life.

You feel utterly lost: wherever you’re feeling lost or think you have things under control, a financial advisor will help you manage your finances. Think of them as your helpful guide and resource you can turn to no matter how many times your financial situation changes.

You want your money managed: regardless of if you’re hands-on with your own finances or you’re driving with no hands on the wheel, a financial advisor is immensely helpful. If you’re terrible at money management, your financial advisor will handle it for you. However,if you love it and want to be apart of it, your advisor can work alongside you too.

Other elements to weigh when deciding on a financial advisor is the status of your financial state and if it has undergone any dramatic changes recently. This could include things like student loans, car loans, becoming a parent, getting married, getting divorced or coming into an inheritance. All of these have an enormous impact on finances and are excellent reasons to start a relationship with a financial advisor.

Robo-Advisors

For some, a robotic advisor is the best type of financial advisor for their situation, short-term and long-term goals.They’re also the lowest cost option because you’re simply paying for computer algorithms to manage and analyze your investment portfolio. This method of financial advising is attractive for those just beginning their financial planning and not looking to spend on a costly advisor at this stage in their lives.

Upon your initial meeting with a robo-advisor, you’ll be filling out a detailed questionnaire that’ll illuminate the company on your financial standing to better understand and build your portfolio, help you with your assets and guide you in making smart decisions for your financial future. Companies that utilize robotic advisors rely on specially designed algorithms to tailor portfolios and customize assistance for each of their clients. However, since you aren’t paying to meet with a person, there’s much less of a cost for this method of advising.

Asset Managers & Wealth Managers

You don’t have to be a financial expert when seeking an advisor who is right for you. Just know that there are essentially two different types of advisors: asset managers and wealth managers. An asset manager assists their clients with stocks, bonds and other products. They also help build a portfolio that keeps track of financial goals. Alternatively, wealth managers oversee the broader picture of their client’s financial health, assisting in things like tax planning, estate planning, educational savings and charitable donations.

Finding the perfect match for a financial advisor can be an arduous process, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll be tempted to ask friends and family members who they see for financial advice. While this is a natural approach, it isn’t always the best one. Your family is going to have a different financial situation than you and are likely at different stages of their lives. 

Parents could be making their way into retirement and siblings could have vastly different jobs or have recently become parents themselves. This is something to keep in mind when hunting for a financial advisor who is right for you.

There are services that exist solely to match people to advisors. Utilizing these services can feel robotic in a way, but the analytics will result in a true human connection. Financing is about the numbers, but advising is about the connection and understanding you will develop with the person at the other end. Sure, it may take a few tries, or you could hit it off on your very first meeting with a new advisor. Regardless, this is your financial future, and you should have an advisor you feel comfortable with in sharing details, planning and managing all of your assets and wealth.

When You Don’t Need a Financial Advisor

If your budget is tight the last thing you’ll want to be spending your money on is a financial advisor. Without extra money available in your budget, there’s little an advisor can recommend to do anyway. The same sentiment goes for those in credit card debt. Although a financial planner or advisor could help you get a budget together for a debt-free future, you’re better off saving that money and doing it yourself. 

If you have a simple financial situation that entails a few credit cards, a car loan you’re steadily paying off and a growing retirement fund from work, then you probably don’t need the advice of a financial advisor - at least not at this point in your financial journey. However, a financial advisor may be able to help you take the next step in paying off the debt you do have so don’t rule out the idea of getting one.

There’s no perfect moment to hire a financial advisor. People tend to seek their advice when they’re starting a family, have a high-earning job or are looking for assistance on a specific planning need. The bottom line is that most finances aren’t entirely difficult to plan on your own - pay off debt, plan for your future with things like a 401k and invest where you feel comfortable. When factors like inheritance, college funds and retirements get thrown into the mix, a financial advisor can be most helpful in sorting through assets and wealth management.