If you know how important investing is to your future, but aren’t sure which way to go, you may want to get some guidance and direction from a financial professional. But if you’ve never worked with one, what can you expect?
Here are some things to look for:
Evaluation – A financial advisor will assess your current financial situation (assets, income, debts, etc.), but that’s just the beginning. These days, counselors recognize the need to view their clients’ lives holistically. Consequently, you will see questions like this: What are your feelings about the investment? How would you rate your risk tolerance? What are your individual financial goals? What hopes and dreams do you have for your family?
Recommendations – Only after fully understanding your needs, goals and preferences will a financial advisor recommend any investment move. There are no “one size fits all” solutions. You may want to stay away from people who claim to be financial advisors who “guarantee” great returns without any risk. In the world of investing, there are few guarantees and every investment carries some type of risk.
Communications – Financial professionals communicate with their clients in different ways, but you should always contact an advisor with any questions or concerns. Most financial advisors will want to meet with clients at least once a year, either in person or through an online platform, to review their investment portfolios. During the review, the financial advisor will help you determine if any changes need to be made. But financial advisors won’t wait a whole year to get in touch with clients to discuss a particular investment move that needs to be made. Also, depending on the company you choose, you should be able to connect to the Internet to review your portfolio at your convenience.
Technology – A financial advisor can use a variety of software programs to help clients. For example, a financial advisor can determine the rate of return you need to achieve specific goals, helping shape your investment strategy. But there are also many “what ifs” in anyone’s life, so an advisor can use hypothetical illustrations to show you where you could end up if you took different paths, like retiring earlier (or later) than that you had planned or put in more (or less) money for a specific goal, such as your children’s education. Anyone’s plans can change, so the ability to see different potential scenarios can be valuable.
Above all, a financial advisor can help you feel more confident as you pursue your goals. Among investors who work with a financial advisor, 84% said doing so gave them a greater sense of comfort about their finances during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a 2020 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones. And during times of market turbulence, like the ones we’ve experienced this year, a financial advisor can help you avoid overreacting to downturns. When unexpected events occur, such as a drop in employment, a financial advisor can suggest moves that will allow you to avoid major disruptions to your financial strategy. Conversely, when a new opportunity arises, perhaps from an inheritance or other windfall, your financial advisor can help you take advantage of it.
Navigating the investment landscape can be challenging, but the journey can be much simpler if you have the right guidance.
Jennifer Barrett (AAMS) is a local financial advisor at Edward Jones.
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Edward Jones. SIPC member.
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.