Is it Time for an Investment Advisor? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions First
If you want to avoid outliving your money, investing can be a great way to continue to grow your nest egg as you approach and enter your retirement years.
While there may be many robo-advisors out there that will do investing for you, a one-on-one, hands-on approach with personal advice and guidance from a real-life financial consultant will offer better insight and clarity into the investment process.
From your needs and objectives to your risk tolerance and timeframe, there are a variety of factors your investment advisor will consider when designing your customized investment strategy.
Before you hire an investment advisor to help you grow your assets, it’s important to ask yourself these five key questions first.
While an investment advisor can be helpful in any situation, hiring one is usually more necessary when you have complex issues and questions to sort out. Things like inherited stock, investing the assets of your small business, or retirement distribution strategies require more in-depth insight.
1. How Complex Are My Finances?
Even if you’re simply looking for straightforward advice that you can apply on your own, many financial advisors offer hourly planning advice that could save you some time and money in the long-run. Especially if you’re about to experience a transition — such as the birth of a child, a divorce, or retirement — teaming up with an investment advisor can help guide your decisions as you enter new financial territory.
Before deciding to engage with an investment advisor, it’s important to first consider how much money you have to invest. Some financial advisory firms require you to have a minimum amount of "assets under management" (also referred to as AUM) before they will take you on as a client. However, if you find an advisor you really want to work with, it is always worth it to reach out and talk to them, for even if their firm is not a good fit for you, they can often recommend another advisor for you to work with.
2. How Much Can I Invest?
When looking for someone to help you invest your money, you can either hire someone who purely specializes in investment management, or you can find someone who offers comprehensive financial planning services.
3. Do I Need Additional Financial Help?
Because comprehensive financial planning involves investing, some may argue that finding a professional who provides this comprehensive style will give you more value for your money. However, if you’re more of a DIYer, it might be worthwhile to simply find someone who can manage your investments. When in doubt, interview a few professionals to gain a better understanding of their services.
This may seem like an obvious question, but some people overlook this critical question and end up in an undesirable situation. If you’re someone who is certain you want to invest for the long haul, then hiring an investment advisor can give you the accountability you need to achieve your investment objectives. It's always a good idea to identify your expectations of the experience first before you get wrapped up in a long-term commitment.
4. What Are My Goals?
In addition to the potential of losing money in the stock market, you will also incur fees from your investment advisor. Some advisors charge a percentage of your assets under management (AUM), so it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to pay someone to professionally manage your investments.
5. How Much Am I Willing to Pay?
An investment advisor is valuable in that they can educate you, as well as apply their knowledge, to help you make smarter investment decisions. At the end of the day, an investment advisor is an investment in itself, so you’ll want to think carefully about what you’re willing to pay for the value they can provide you.