Meeting with a certified financial advisor is one of the best ways to get a clear outlook of your financial situation and to appropriately plan for your financial future. Certified Financial Advisors are different from other financial advisors in that they typically have a college degree and at least three years experience, plus various levels of certification depending upon the state they practice in.
A common misconception is that these professionals are only for those who have a lot of money. There are some advisors who prefer to only work with clients who have a high net-worth, but many will gladly meet with anyone who is trying to get a handle on their finances.
Financial advisors are often compensated in the following ways:
Commission Only: Advisors who work for commission won’t charge you for advice or even financial plan development. These advisors make their money off of commission of selling you financial products which may be necessary to implement their financial recommendations.
Fee Only: These advisors will charge a fee to meet with you, provide advice, and any planning or financial management you may need. Some may charge fees on an hourly basis while others will charge on a project basis.
Combination Fee & Commission: Advisors who are compensated on a combination level will charge a fee to meet with you and may also receive a commission off the sale of any financial products you may buy.
Fee Offset: These advisors again make both a fee and receive a commission, except this time the commission will be offset against any fees you are charged.
Salary: Advisors who work for financial service firms may receive a salary for their work. In this case the consumer is referred as a bank client.
Many people benefit greatly from meeting with a financial advisor because it helps them become better informed about their finances. The complex nature of finance and budgeting is one of the main reasons that so many people struggle to control their money. An advisor will help you understand your situation and give you a plan on how to handle your debt and mortgage payments in the future.
When you take on a mortgage, invest for retirement or are planning for your future, you have the opportunity to look at the big financial picture and get strategic advice on the best course of action to take with your finances. The process can be complicated, so you shouldn’t be afraid to seek the help and counsel of a Certified Financial Advisor – your future depends on it!