Everyone needs a little financial planning help every now and again. A financial advisor can be quite helpful as you strive to meet your financial goals. And the good news is that you do not need to keep your financial advisor beyond a few sessions to help you get your personal finances in order and create a plan that will help you in the future. Additional financial check-ups may be needed, but for the most part it is possible to get help from a financial advisor without breaking the bank. Here’s how to get that financial planning help for less:
- Establish your financial goals. Before you begin your search for a financial advisor, make sure that you know what you want to accomplish. Do you need help with retirement planning? Are you saving for college? Would you like help with a plan to get out of debt? Know your objectives beforehand so that you can search for a financial advisor expert in that area, and so that you spend less money in fees for your advisor to help you set financial goals.
- Look for local financial advisors. Your best option is to find somebody local, so that you can go in and meet with him or her face to face. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and the Financial Planning Association can help you locate reputable financial advisors in your area.
- Narrow your list down to your desired financial advisor. Call the advisors on the local list in order to determine areas of expertise and to get an idea of how qualified they are. Find out the range of financial planning tools available to you, and whether only specific funds and/or stocks are offered. Also, you can determine customer service and likely response time to your inquiries by emailing a follow-up question. Response time can help you gauge ability and/or willingness to give you the attention you need.
Checking the rates is another important feature. In many cases, commissions are a thing of the past. However, some financial advisors still make money on commissions. Be wary of these, as they get money for selling you certain products that may not be in your best interest. You can probably find a financial advisor that works on an hourly rate (and many offer a free initial consultation). Find out exactly what rates and fees you will have to pay, and come as organized as possible so that you spend more time planning your future and less time establishing where you are now.