Do You Need a Financial Adviser?

When you venture out on your own, there are plenty of new responsibilities that come your way… like being financially responsible and planning for your future! A financial adviser may help you set and meet financial goals and introduce you to the world of money management during this new chapter of your life. Here are a few reasons you may be ready for a financial adviser…

You have some cash ready to invest

If you’re already saving some money in a traditional savings account and the amount is exceeding the recommended 3-6 month emergency fund, it may be time to get in touch with a financial adviser to ensure you’re making the smartest choices with your money. They’ll talk about things like increasing the interest you receive based on the type of account you open or investing your excess savings into stocks and bonds to see continual growth over time.

There are plenty of options to grow your savings – although some financial institutions will require a minimum investment ($) amount before partnering with you, not all do, and some minimums are fairly low.

You don’t know how much to save

This is another common question – how much saving is “enough?!” While “The more the better” may be a common answer, you should think through what logically makes sense for you and the goals you have set for yourself. Hoping to buy a house in the next few years? Make a plan to get your down payment in the bank before then. A financial adviser isn’t required for this type of conversation, but if you know you won’t set aside a couple hours to think through your goals and build an action plan, it may be best to partner with one.

You don’t feel experienced enough to manage your funds

If you thrive on watching the stock market every day or checking out the latest and greatest rewards credit cards or savings plans, you may serve well as your own financial adviser! Keep up to date on the latest trends by reading financial advice offered by key industry publications.

If that doesn’t sound like you, a financial adviser can take the guesswork out of saving and investing money. It’s their job to be up to date and knowledgeable on changes to the market or best practices and they can act accordingly. If you’re not interested in doing the research yourself, they can walk you through various options based on your tolerance for risk and your long term goals. A good one will also tutor you and explain why they are making certain recommendations, so over time you’ll learn a lot about managing your own finances.

You are getting married

Talking about money is difficult for most people and that includes couples about to get married. Even if you plan to keep your finances separate, you should know your partner’s attitudes about money. Visiting a financial planner will let you bare all in front of an impartial third party who can advice how you should structure finances towards common goals. This step may save you from many future money arguments.

How to pick a financial advisor?

After you decide you’d like to work with an advisor, how do you find one? First, ask for recommendations from friends in a similar financial situation. Next, set up a meeting with the financial institution where your money is. Also check with companies like Charles Schwab and Fidelity and find out what kind of minimums they have. You want to meet face-to-face with your potential advisor to see if you’d be comfortable working with them.

Here are articles you can read about picking an advisor from Nerd Wallet, Forbes and CNBC.

How much will it cost?

Financial advisers can be a great asset, and while their services aren’t free, they generally will charge either a percentage of your invested funds (depending on account balance, typically 1% and up annually) or a flat hourly fee. Remember the concept of “Pay Yourself First”? I learned that from my financial adviser, who has helped me build out my savings account and a plan for retirement. I meet with her once or twice a year to talk through results and goals, and that’s it!

Talking to a financial advisor may not be for you, and that’s fine! But, take this as your reminder to set financial goals and action plans to achieve them. Now’s the time!

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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