Why use a financial adviser?
Benefit from the Experience of a Financial Adviser
Determine Your Need for Professional Investment Advice
What Services to Expect from Your Financial Adviser
How to Select the Right Financial Adviser for You
Maintaining a Strong Relationship with Your Financial Adviser
Invest Responsibly with a Financial Adviser
At United Capital, we believe that you need to do your homework before investing. That may include reading financial publications, researching online, and discussing options with your friends and family. Many people, however, find the task of selecting the proper investment too daunting to undertake on their own. To invest responsibly, they do their homework, and they seek the professional guidance and advice of a financial adviser.
To learn more about the benefits of using a financial adviser, visit these sections of the site:
- Benefit from the Experience of a Financial Adviser
- Determine Your Need for Professional Investment Advice
- What Services to Expect from Your Financial Adviser
- How to Select the Right Financial Advisor for You
- Maintaining a Strong Relationship with Your Financial Adviser
- Invest Responsibly with a Financial Adviser
- Interview Questions for Evaluating Financial Advisers
- Financial Needs Checklist
Benefit from the Experience of a Financial Adviser Return to Top
United Capital encourages investors to take a long-term view when they invest with us. By looking down the road, many people realize that they don’t have the experience, time, training or patience to make informed investment decisions alone. That’s where the value of an investment professional really makes a difference. A qualified financial adviser:
- takes the time to understand your goals and investment needs
- has the experience to help you develop a financial plan designed for your specific situation
- can help you determine the best way to allocate your assets
- can offer guidance during volatile market periods
- will recommend specific investments or investment strategies to meet your goals
- has experience in financial services, securities licenses and specialized training
- has access to specialized research on various types of securities
- spends time tracking potential investments that may fit in your financial plan
Determine Your Need for Professional Investment AdviceReturn to Top
How do you know if you need professional investment advice? It depends on your own level of comfort and confidence in your investment knowledge.
What Services to Expect from Your Financial Adviser Return to Top
A financial adviser should take the time to get to know you, your financial situation, your financial goals and your risk tolerance. When searching for an adviser, you should expect to receive these services:
- Personal attention – Your adviser will take the time to go through a full interview with you, asking questions to get to know your entire financial situation, your risk tolerance and your goals before setting up a customized financial plan.
- Help developing an asset allocation strategy – Once you’ve worked with your adviser to determine your risk tolerance, he or she can help you allocate your money based on a mix of asset classes with varying degrees of risk that fit your time horizon and comfort level.
- Advice on specific investments that match your goals – When you’re comfortable with your financial plan and have determined an asset allocation strategy, your adviser will then make specific recommendations on the types of mutual funds and securities that will best meet your needs. Your advisor should be able to provide research supporting his or her recommendations.
- Answers to your financial questions – If the markets become volatile, your financial adviser should be available to help you understand the reasons behind the instability. If you hear of an interesting investment opportunity or a new stock offering, your adviser has the knowledge to research and investigate these opportunities and to help you decide if they fit into your overall plan.
- Proactive management of your account – Your adviser can also bring investment opportunities to your attention, based on detailed knowledge of your financial plan and goals. Your adviser can help you manage your expectations by explaining the rewards and risks of any investment.
- Ongoing, regular check-ups – Your adviser should call on a regular basis to see if your financial situation has changed. If you’ve gotten married, switched jobs, had a child or purchased a home, your financial plan may need to be adjusted to account for these changes. At least once a year, your adviser should review your account with you and make any adjustments necessary to ensure your plan continues to meet your situation and goals.
How to Select the Right Financial Adviser for You Return to Top
Finding the right financial adviser is as important as finding the right doctor or child care provider – you need to find someone you can trust. Just as you would before going to any other professional, you must spend some time doing the research to find the right adviser with whom you can develop a lasting relationship.
Your search for an adviser should follow a three-step process:
- Collecting Names
- Interviewing Candidates
- Making the Right Choice
- Collecting Names: Where do you start your search for the right adviser for you? Start with:
- Family, friends and colleagues – Ask if they use an adviser whom they would recommend to you.
- Your lawyer or tax adviser – These professionals work with financial professionals regularly and often refer their clients to advisers with whom they have a working relationship.
- Other sources – Check other sources for possible qualified candidates:
- Look at continuing education courses or seminars taught by financial advisers
- Read financial articles in your local paper and collect names of professional advisers who are quoted in the articles.
- Look in the local yellow pages for firms or independent advisers.
When you’ve collected a number of names from your sources, you’ll need to narrow the field:
- Call the candidates or their firms (if they are affiliated with a firm) to request resumes and a list of services provided.
- Review each resume and the services provided, and select the best candidates based on education, years of experience in the field, securities registration and licensing, professional affiliations and any specialized areas of expertise that you might need, such as estate planning.
- If a candidate was referred to you by one of his or her clients, ask that client to describe his or her experience with and confidence in the candidate.
- Interviewing Candidates: Once you’ve honed down your list of candidates, call to schedule personal, one-on-one interviews with each adviser. During the interviews you will evaluate each candidate based on your personal situation and financial goals. Focus on how you and the adviser will work together, and what level and type of service the adviser (and the adviser’s firm, if any) can offer you.You can also check the adviser’s records with the National Association of Securities Dealers (FINRA). Go to www.FINRA Rules & Regulation, call the FINRA at 1-800-289-9999, or call your state’s securities or insurance commissions.
Now you’re prepared to choose your adviser. Remember: Choose a financial adviser whom you trust and with whom you feel comfortable because that person will play a key role in helping you make important financial decisions for many years to come.
Maintaining a Strong Relationship with Your Financial Adviser Return to Top
The relationship between you and your adviser is not just one party’s responsibility. It’s a two-way street. Your adviser should call you regularly to monitor your situation and to review your portfolio and its performance with you. By the same token, keep the lines of communication open and update your adviser when your financial needs or situation changes. It’s a good idea to let your adviser know of situations or events that may affect your financial plan, such as:
- Marriage or divorce
- Birth of a child
- Substantial change in income
Invest Responsibly with a Financial Adviser Return to Top
The benefits of using a financial adviser may make a big difference in helping you achieve your financial objectives.
Your financial adviser can help you invest responsibly through any market conditions by working with you to weigh your financial options, develop a sound financial plan, monitor your changing financial needs, and recommend additions and adjustments in your asset mix based on a long-term approach to investing.
1 Source: Forum for Investor Advice, 1999. Article by: Fidelity.com