What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

While there are certainly benefits to working with a financial advisor to invest your money, you can absolutely save yourself the fees and do it on your own. And, no, despite the potentially intimidating financial jargon, we promise it’s not all that complicated. Whether you’re a total newbie to the investing world or you’re a seasoned veteran, you are more than capable of investing for yourself.

🤔 Understanding financial advisors

Here's what financial advisors do, so you can see for yourself.

It’s no secret that there are plenty of advantages to using a financial advisor. After all, working with a financial advisor can give you peace of mind knowing that your investments are in the hands of an experienced professional.

Here are some of the major reasons why investors choose to work with advisors:

  • Financial advisors are certified professionals who often have years of experience in their field. Those who’ve advised clients for decades have likely been through various cycles of bull-and-bear markets. In other words, they know the market well, and their experience can save you time studying up yourself.
  • Financial advisors do the management work for you. If you don’t have enough hours in your day to structure and manage your portfolios — and then to track their performances — it’s part of an advisor’s job to do just that.
  • Financial advisors are humans. This means that you have someone to whom you can refer when you have investment questions or concerns. This could mean that you get a rather supported, personalized experience. Working with another person may also help to hold you accountable in sticking to your investment plan.

That all said, you don’t need a financial advisor.

What this means for you

While financial advisors provide plenty of perks, they’re not entirely necessary. Here’s why you actually don’t need one.

1. They are costly.

Financial advisors don’t come cheap. Most advisors take a hefty percentage of your money as a fee for their services. Many will charge about one to two percent. You may also pay an hourly fee of anywhere between $100 and $300 for their time if you’re regularly meeting with them. And, then, of course, there can be hidden fees in certain funds in which they may place your money.

2. Finding the right one for you takes time.

Delegating your finances to a professional may feel like a huge relief. But it’s important that you hire the right professional to handle your investments, and finding the right financial advisor for you is not necessarily an easy feat. You’ll want to make sure that your financial advisor has your best interest and investment goals in mind. For example, you don’t want them selecting sub-par strategies just because of pressure from their firm or convincing you out of building wealth with assets outside of their management realm.

3. They are outdated.

Sure, financial advisors can talk to you about your investment goals, risk tolerance and suitable investing strategies but, today, advanced technology can do just the same. Nowadays, there are apps that function like pocket-sized financial advisors so you can invest like a professional from your fingertips.

4. You lose control over your money when you give it to a financial advisor.

Delegating your investments to an advisor may be a weight off your shoulders but, when you hand over responsibilities, you also hand over control. Sure, this is dangerous for obvious reasons: Some financial advisors don’t care so much about what happens to your money once they have secured your business. But, even with the best financial advisors, forking over control of your financial future is a risk.

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