The financial landscape can appear confusing and complex to the common man. It helps to have a ‘guide’ to take you through all the various financial choices and their implications. These financial guides are what are known as financial advisors. A good financial advisor can not only help you fulfill your financial goals and build wealth, but also bring a wealth of knowledge and useful tools to your investment journey.
Financial planning has a price one way or the other. Either it will cost you your time, effort and energy (if you do everything yourself) or it will cost you some money (if you go through an advisor). For most investors, having an advisor partner with them on their journey gives them an edge and adds an X factor because there is always a professional looking after you. Imagine having a doctor for life, this is no different. Now, while you can do most of the below mentioned aspects all by yourself, you will first have to educate yourself, then find the time and put in the effort necessary to take action, keep track of every action and modifying course of action where necessary- all by yourself. If you have a full time job, you can imagine how difficult this can be. Hence, having a financial advisor also makes solid practical sense.
Here are some of the areas that a financial advisor can help you with:
They can help you to understand your risk profile. Are you comfortable with potential losses? Do you need guaranteed returns? An advisor will take into account multiple factors to understand you- the person before they translate this information to you- the investor.
They can help you develop a financial plan for your financial goals and can guide you on how to achieve them. This will take into account your age, your family circumstances, your income, time left for the goal, etc.
They can help you prepare and protect your savings and investments against the scourge of inflation. Your advisor can help you understand the ‘real value’ of everything that you’re doing for today and tomorrow.
They can help you manage asset allocation and diversification to deal with volatility well. Once the advisor has gained insight into your risk / reward profile and your goals, they can provide more complex advice around asset allocation and portfolio diversification. This will help you deal with volatility well.
They are financial experts themselves and can help conduct professional research. Given their knowledge and experience, they will be able to recommend the right investment products to you with a rational justification behind every proposed recommendation.
They can help you to remain prepared for any emergency situations- whether via channelizing your savings or via the insurance route.
They can also manage some aspects of administration if you have time constraints. If you are short on time, advisors can help to manage some of the administrative burden involved in switching and transferring funds.
However much you trust your financial advisor, ensure that you are still in the driving seat – after all, this is your money and your investments. To ensure your finances are correctly managed, keep monitoring all your investments by closely working with your financial advisor and keeping up-to-date with your investments. Also, the advisor should be completely transparent with why he is recommending anything to you, and should have a rational justification behind every recommendation. But despite this, if you don’t spend some time educating yourself with the basics, you may fall behind in the long term.