If you’re confused about what to do with your money, you might be thinking about obtaining the services of a financial adviser. But what exactly does a financial adviser do? Before you begin searching for someone to give you advice about your money, you should have a thorough comprehension of their role. How else are you going to be able to determine whether or not you’ve found a good one?
What Does a Financial Advisor Do?
A good financial adviser does more than give advice! You’ll need to do your research as to the hows and whys of the profession, but here’s a quick summary of what an advisor can do for you. Once you understand an adviser’s scope of practice, you’ll be equipped to ask the right questions to make sure you’re signing up for top-tier service.
An Expert Understands your Money
The first step to giving quality advice is listening. An expert will spend time listening to you as well as educating herself about every aspect of your fiscal situation. She’ll want to know every detail of your life, including your assets, your debts and your credit history. You might need to consider credit repair if your credit score is really low.
She needs these details, because before she can devote any thought to your financial future, your financial adviser needs to have a big-picture understanding of your situation. What are you strengths? What are your weaknesses? As with a visit to the doctor, a visit to the expert is no time to keep secrets. Make sure you answer all questions honestly and provide the documentation she asks for.
A Qualified Professional
One of the greatest assets a financial adviser brings to the project of managing your money is a clear head. It’s easy to get caught up in emotion where money is concerned, and it’s important to have someone in your corner who can see things as they are, unclouded by gut feelings or emotional reactions. Are you compulsively conservative, afraid of taking risks? Are you a gambler, eager to stake it all? A professional helps you to combat your natural emotional tendencies with regard to money.
Knows your Goals
A good advisor knows you aren’t saving money merely for the sake of saving money. You have hopes and dreams, and you’ve been thinking about the ways in which you’d like your money to go to work for you. Are you looking forward to enjoying your golden years in retirement? Are you facing the prospect of unexpected medical expenses for you, your parent or a spouse? Or do you want to ensure that one or more of your children has access to a quality education? Your advisor should know not just where you are, but where you want to go.
After the professional has determined the current state of your debt and your goals for the future, she’ll make a determination as to how best to allocate your resources. This is where her specialized education comes in. The expert should be able to make decisions on which types of investments and specific investments are right for you based on your goals, your temperament and your timeline. This is the skilled advice you’re paying her for!
A good professional should also help you prepare for the unexpected. If something happens to you or your spouse, you’ll want to have sufficient insurance coverage to safeguard yourself and your assets. A comprehensive assessment of your coverage might include such areas as life insurance, health insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance and liability insurance for sole proprietors and business owners.
Minimizes your Tax Burden
Paying taxes is your patriotic duty, but no one wants to give more to Uncle Sam than he has to. Your advisor will adapt her investment strategies to keep your tax burden as low as possible, ensuring that more of your money goes to work for you. If you own a small or large business in Las Vegas, or anywhere in the United States, they will take into account both the taxes you owe personally and the taxes owed by your business.
Assists with your Estate Planning
Before you die, you’ll want to make sure that you have a plan in place to safeguard the value of your Las Vegas estate. Although you may still need to retain the services of a lawyer, a financial advisor can help to address the piece of your estate planning so you can pass along to your loved ones as much of the value as possible of the assets you’ve guarded and nurtured so carefully.
A good financial adviser does more than help you to articulate your dreams. She draws you a blueprint to achieve them. Make sure the financial adviser you choose is able to take both you and your money where you want to go.