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Are you trying to decide if you need a financial advisor?

Are you trying to decide if you need a financial advisor?

August 02, 2022

In my opinion, almost anyone could benefit from the services of a good financial advisor.  And I do mean, almost anyone - not everyone.  

Who wouldn't benefit?  A true do-it-yourselfer.  I define a do-it-yourselfer as someone who has three characteristics.  First, they know what they're doing.  They have a pretty good understanding of various investment categories, they're able to sort through info on individual investments, and they can study markets.  Second, a true do-it-yourselfer has the time required for research and is available during market hours.  I do have some clients that could invest on their own, but they'd rather spend time with grandkids or doing other things they enjoy more.  Investors who are still in the workforce usually don't have the time required when the market is open.  Lastly, a do-it-yourselfer should enjoy studying and investing.  Often, they consider investing a hobby rather than a chore.

I think everyone else, anyone who doesn't have these three characteristics, would benefit from the services of a financial advisor.  I've thought a lot over the years about the reasons people don't use advisors and have decided it's because of one of a few reasons.  They don't understand what we do, they think they have to have a large account before hiring an advisor, or financial planning hasn't become important enough yet during the busy seasons of life when raising a family and/or establishing a career.

I'd encourage everyone to consider finding an advisor as early as possible.  The earlier we work with a client, the greater the chance of success.  A great time to hire someone is when you've started your first serious job and have to figure out what to do with a paycheck.  You might have student loans to pay off.  It might be the first time you've had to work with a budget.  And you might have employee benefit decisions to make.

There are certainly advisors who have account minimums, but you should be able to find someone who is willing to charge by the hour or in some other manner to compensate for time spent on your plan.  

If you are in the category of those who don't understand what an advisor does, stay tuned.  The list is long and too long for this blog, but I will devote a future blog entirely to the topic.