5 Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor

Managing your wealth, no matter how big or small, is a cumbersome task. Your financial advisor helps to keep your money safe while making it work for you. Before you start working with someone, ask them these important questions.

What Certifications Do You Have?

You need to know what licenses and certification your financial advisor has. Most of the top consultants are certified public accountants, fund specialists, consultants, or analysts. Some even carry a Juris doctorate and insurance licenses. While everyone has to start somewhere, you want to work with a firm that has extensive experience in the field.

What Safeguards Are in Place to Protect Assets from Fraud?

Your assets need to be protected by a reputable custodian. When you ask about safeguards, you should also ask about any infractions he or she has received in the past both with the firm and as an individual. To provide you with the best service, your financial advisor should be a fiduciary.

Consultants with a strict code of ethics have standards that they share with their clients. However, no matter their standards, they should be in compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state and regulatory agencies, and the Security’s and Exchange Commission.

What Are Your Fees?

When it comes to fees, your counselor should be 100 percent transparent. He or she needs to explain his or her exact fee structure, so you understand how you are paying. Some are fee-only, meaning they provide a flat rate for services rendered.

Some investment consultants charge a commission fee. That means they make money off each product you purchase to help your investments grow. It is important to know which one you are working with, or if you are with someone who charges a fee in addition to earning commissions.

What Access Do You Have to Earning Reports?

As your financial advisor, he or she should have direct access to the top holdings of where your investments are. He or she needs to be able to tell you immediately what the earnings report is anytime you call.

At the very least, he or she should be able to educate you on your holdings before any investment of assets. By educating you on available options and what assets are invested, you can better understand what the consultant suggests.

How Often Do You Communicate

When it comes to letting you know how your money is doing, the counselor should be open to communication. He or she should send out weekly announcements about the market. Also, you must be informed of trade notifications immediately and receive an explanation on every buy and sell option. Most firms also send out information about their monthly investment outlook as well as a quarterly outlook. Brokers also offer to keep their customers informed with educational information and fact sheets.

Handle Your Finances With Care

It takes years to gather a handsome amount of money, and if it is not handled properly, your most prized possession would soon escape from your hands like sand. This is the reason why people go for financial planning. It gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you know that your money is in safe hands and is being handled with utmost care.

However, not many people are aware of the process involved in financial planning. Based on your financial position, it is very important to go ahead with personal planning because if you don’t start planning well in advance, then you might face several challenges in the future.

Financial advisors suggest all individuals follow these six basic key principles for financial planning.

• Analyse your current financial status: To be able to plan for future you should first be very confident about your current financial position. Make a checklist of all the assets and liabilities and your income and expenditure. Having this information at hand, you would be in a clear position to understand how you can achieve your financial goals. Your total financial worth would help you to determine the ways to accomplish your set goals, which include paying for your children’s education, buying a new property or being ready for any financial emergency like the loss of a job.

• Chalk out your financial goals: In order to accumulate wealth, a lot of planning has to be done in order to achieve the desired goals. Setting goals would give you an urge to go ahead to achieve it. Your list of financial goals should be very specific, which would show that they are crystal clear in your mind.

• Plan for alternatives: You cannot expect your planning to go as per your wish, so you should always have a plan B at hand. After listing down your goals you plan for alternatives as well.

• Analyse the alternative options: You should ponder upon the feasibility of the alternative ways taking into account your social, personal and economic condition at present. The liquidity of your assets also matters in this regard.

• Creation and execution of your financial plan of action: Once you have planned about your alternative options and have analysed its feasibility, it is time for you to put these plans into action.

• Review your plan: Since financial planning is very dynamic process it is subject to change at any moment. So, it is always advisable to keep reviewing your plans every now and then.

Thus, in order to achieve your financial goals successfully, these basic points should be kept in mind for better handling of your finances.