Where Do People Get Their Financial Advice?

Because of our recent economic conditions it seems as though people are scrambling to try to find the right advice on how to financially plan for retirement. Companies are going bankrupt or laying off their employees, and unemployment is in double digits. Therefore, there is a bit of uncertainty as to how to plan for a safe and comfortable retirement. Some people ask family members because they seem to be somewhat financially independent and have a little experience with financial products. Family members could not possibly give sound financial advice because there are so many different types of financial products and most of them are extremely complex.

Many people watch news shows or read blogs or columns on the internet that are produced by major media corporations. The advice given here is typically generic information and is intended for the masses. This information could not possibly be helpful because each person’s financial situation is unique, and a nationally broadcasted show could not possibly give sound advice for a particular client, nor could they cover everything a client needs. Some will ask their certified public accountant who also does their taxes. Certified Public Accountants are not a bad choice for completing your taxes, but a CPA’s focus is to decrease your tax burden, and with this approach you may miss out on some important investment opportunities. Others will find a Financial advisor who can look at their whole financial picture and tailor a plan that is right for them. This is a great choice because an expert will give you a clear picture of your financial situation, and can help you accomplish your goals and plan for a safe and comfortable retirement. This will allow the client to focus on things that they would rather do besides handling their investments.

It is critical to find a financial advisor that looks at the entire financial picture and not just investments because it is impossible to give sound financial advice while only looking at one part of a client’s financial needs. There also needs to be a fiduciary responsibility between the advisor and the client. The client needs to know that the advice they are receiving is in their best interest, and that the advisor is not just trying to make a sale. What will happen many times is that an advisor will be pushed to make a sale on a certain security by their company. The security itself may or may not be of any value to the client, but in order for the advisor to make some quick cash they will sell this security. The most important thing between an advisor and a client is trust. The client has to feel comfortable with the advisor and know that the decisions they make are in the client’s best interest.

When looking for a financial advisor, ask them about their credentials in the industry. A professional designation such as Certified Financial Planner or Chartered Financial Consultant ensures fiduciary responsibility. Be sure to ask them questions and make sure they are a good fit for you. Their philosophy may be different form yours, so it is important to find a good fit between you and your advisor. It is also important to give your advisor correct information. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to tell them what your current financial picture is because the advisor can only help you with what they know you have. The most important thing is to take action. Go find your financial advisor and be on your way to a safe and comfortable retirement.