It’s easy to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to simply make the money you need to thrive—how could there be enough hours on top of that to efficiently manage and deploy that money?
Between complex tax or legal policies, investment planning, and saving for the future, it can be overwhelming or even downright unfeasible to make financial decisions when it’s not your area of expertise.
That’s why many individuals and businesses turn to financial services companies to take charge of their funds. By leaving those tasks to the pros, you’ll have more time to focus on doing what you love to make sure the money keeps coming in.
If you’ve got questions about how you could benefit from a financial advisor or don’t know how to find the financial services company that fits your needs, keep reading for answers.
Financial services companies provide clients with a wide range of services including financial planning, investment advising, and retirement saving.
Financial services companies understand the complex legal and tax rules that apply to different types of investments and money moves, and can advise about the smartest ways to spend and save money. They may also have vast knowledge of the kind of markets that are booming or floundering, in order to help their clients make wise financial moves.
The decision about what to do with the funds ultimately lies with the client, but the financial services company can provide intelligent recommendations that bring the most short and long term benefits to the client.
Freelance financial advisors and financial services companies generally provide many of the same services, but a freelancer usually does so without the backing of a financial institution.
This lack of institutional backing can be both an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on what a client is looking for. If financial services companies are employed by larger banks or investment firms, they may feel pressured to give advice that aligns with their company’s goals, while a freelancer could have more freedom to go rogue with recommendations that could be out-of-the-box, or high risk, high reward.
Some clients want the dependability and history of a firm with a rich history; they like knowing their investments are backed by a trusted institution.
Others want a more flexible or casual relationship with their financial planner, one they can get from a freelancer. They might meet for coffee or a drink (once it’s safe) rather than in a big office building, or they might find a highly specialized freelancer who can provide personalized advice tailored to their needs.
If you have to ask yourself this question, the answer might be yes. Keep in mind that financial advisors can provide different levels of support and services—maybe you have someone you only call when you have a question about your retirement fund, or only with specific questions about taxes on your small business.
The more complex your financial situation gets, the better it is to turn to a financial services company for some type of support. For instance, if you’re running a business, managing multiple income streams, planning for an uncertain future, or dealing with an unexpected influx of cash, you’ll likely find it financially beneficial to receive planning and investment advice from a pro.
A lot of people like to think they can manage their money on their own, and many can. But even if you have an interest in finance and want to have a go at managing it yourself, remember that financial advisors can enhance your own financial curiosity and decisions rather than take away your ability to make them.
With your finger on the pulse of the financial sector, you’ll be better equipped to ask complex questions of your advisor, suss out rewarding investment opportunities, and get a second opinion on potentially risky maneuvers, all while having someone handle the nitty-gritty of those decisions while you can focus on bringing in more money.
There’s no one set income you need in order to hire a financial advisor. Traditionally, though, many financial service companies, especially those specializing in wealth planning and investment advisory services, require a minimum investment to be able to work with them and then charge around a 1% fee on your assets to manage your money.
While those minimums do vary depending on the advisor and the institution, it’s not unusual for those minimums to be $100,000 or higher.
On a smaller scale, many advisors charge an hourly fee of at least $100 for their services, meaning that upfront cost might not be worth it if their advice about your modest income or investments only saves or gains you a few hundred dollars.
Still, with the growth of the financial industry and the gig economy, many freelance financial advisors and fintech startups are paving the way to provide financial advice and investment planning even for people with leaner incomes. Some set no minimums to work with them, or even specialize in helping people with small incomes maximize what they do have to gain more in the future.
In short, if you’re serious about gaining the benefits of a financial planner, you can find a licensed and qualified one to work within your budget.
Financial advisors provide a wide variety of services, including:
By clearly defining the type of financial planning you’re looking for, you can find the financial advisor that fits your specific needs. Even if you don’t know what companies are in the financial field, you can still find firms that offer the services you’re looking for. Here are a few places to look first for the best financial advisors:
Like any industry, finance has its frauds. As you’re narrowing down your choices, don’t be afraid to ask these questions that will make sure you’re dealing with a trusted, qualified professional:
If you find any of their answers to be unsatisfactory, trust your gut and move on to another candidate. For more reassurance, make sure to verify their credentials via organizations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the CFP Board, or anywhere else they may be registered with.
You can also ask for references, or search for online reviews of their services. Remember that your money and future is on the line, so you must feel completely confident with your decision.