How to Know When You Need a Financial Advisor

Making sound investments during your money-making years is a key goal that can ease your transition into retirement. Accumulating capital can also open the door to buying a house, making some other significant purchase, or investing in an attractive business venture. 

The person who can help you make these things happen is a financial advisor. These professionals provide insight into your wealth management and personal investment decisions to help you build for the future. They can also make recommendations as you save for retirement or help you come up with the money to buy a home.

Your financial advisor can offer support as you develop financial goals and create a strategy while managing your investment accounts and locating the right financial services. Working with a financial advisor gives you an expert to trust with your money long-term. This guide will take you through ways a financial advisor can assist you in determining the best course to take.

The Purpose of a Financial Plan

The big job a financial advisor can assist you with is developing a long-term financial strategy. This plan is vital to your future because of the objectives it accomplishes, such as:

  • Providing Answers
    You probably have many questions about your future, and a financial planner can help answer them. They will help you determine how much money you’ll need to continue your current lifestyle post-retirement or whether it’s worth it to pay your mortgage off early, collaborating on a strategy that works for you.
  • Analyzing the Big Picture
    There are always aspects of your financial plan that you might not consider without speaking with an expert. The tax implications of your investments, for example, are something that very few people think about until the time comes. Meeting with an advisor ensures you have the entire picture so you can make the right decisions for your future. 
  • Offering Alternatives to Your Goals
    You might have goals you want to reach, but slight alterations might end up working better for you. Retiring at 57 sounds appealing, for instance, but an advisor can show you how much of a difference remaining employed for another year or two can make for your financial situation. This service gives you an alternate viewpoint, ensuring you make an informed choice. 
  • Creating a Stress Test
    Your financial advisor can plan a risk simulation that ensures you’re ready for retirement or other financial goals and won’t run out of money. This test will account for all sorts of investment returns rather than the maximum, giving you a greater probability of your plan coming to fruition.

A financial advisor is a great tool to have at your disposal because they ensure you cover every variable before getting too deep with your investments. The result is peace of mind as you plan for the next chapter of your life.

5 Signs You Need a Financial Advisor

a financial advisor looking at data on a laptop

You might be on the fence about hiring a financial advisor, but there are a few situations where it’s highly recommended. The last thing you want to do is make some uninformed financial decisions that ruin your chances of attaining your goals. Here are examples of when they can make a big difference:

1. You’re Close to Retirement

Those who are getting close to retirement age can benefit from speaking with an advisor to ensure they can afford it. You don’t want to run out of money too early, and a financial advisor can walk you through your options and provide insight on lifestyle changes you might have to make once you stop working. 

2. Your Marriage Status Has Changed

A financial advisor can assist as you create a financial plan after getting married or divorced. Married couples, for example, might need advice on working together as a team to achieve their goals, while divorced individuals could require insight on moving forward alone from a financial perspective. 

3. You Inherited Some Money

Inheriting money can ease a lot of your financial woes, but it won’t do any long-term good if you blow through it all immediately. An advisor can help you make the best choices for your future and provide information on using that money to help you reach your goals.

4. You Know Nothing About Investing

New investors should always get some advice before putting money on the line. The stock market and other financial vehicles can be volatile, and you could end up losing a lot of capital if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

5. You Want a Clear Financial Picture

Financial advisors can give you a far more precise idea of your wealth. You might feel like you don’t have much, but there’s a good chance an advisor can point out some inefficiencies in your current situation and help you reach your goals.

An advisor should be your trusted resource in assessing your financial situation and helping you develop a plan moving forward. A relationship of trust is key when you’re placing your financial future in someone else’s hands. 

3 Common Pitfalls of Using a Financial Advisor

Hiring a financial advisor can work wonders for your overall financial situation, but you should be careful in choosing one. You’ll want to avoid some common pitfalls and make sure you end up with an experienced professional dedicated to providing the assistance you need. 

1. Hiring the Wrong Person

You’ll need to do your research before hiring a financial advisor to ensure you end up with someone with your best interests at heart. Your advisor should be a fiduciary, which means they are ethically bound to make decisions to your benefit. It’s also a good idea to look at the advisor’s credentials, investment strategies, and specialties to ensure you find the right match.

2. Not Understanding Payment

Many investors don’t understand how financial advisors receive payment, which can lead to disputes. Some advisors are fee-only, so you’ll pay a flat rate, while others receive commissions based on mutual fund earnings or other products they sell you. 

3. Using a Poor Planner

You should read reviews and shop around, because a poorly performing financial advisor might develop a plan that doesn’t best serve your interests. Even a well-intentioned advisor can make mistakes, so it’s essential that you have a good idea of your goals before hiring anyone.

Avoiding these pitfalls ensures you end up happier with your investments. The key is knowing who you are trusting with these decisions and being comfortable with their advice.

A Trusted Source for Expert Financial Advice

Financial planning is a challenging topic, because you must look at the big picture while making small decisions. Seeking the advice of an experienced professional in the industry is perhaps the best way to ensure you achieve a favorable outcome.

Bogart Wealth offers financial, investment, and retirement planning in McLean, Virginia. Our team can provide advice from a fiduciary’s perspective as you investigate the best financial decisions to secure a comfortable future for you and your family. Be sure to contact our offices with any financial planning questions you have.

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