Dealing with Financial Advisors

The Future of Financial Advice

Financial planning looms in everyone’s life, including yours. Not all money advisors are created equal, though. Does yours do the best job for you – and how can you contribute to making your own plan?

“Is your advisor asking you, the investor, the right questions? Is the investor asking the right questions of the advisor?” said Jeffrey Vivacqua, senior vice president of business strategy at the Fairfield, Iowa-based broker-dealer Cambridge Investment Research, speaking at a recent advisory panel.

Save ‘Enough’ for Retirement

Your looming retirement can change your idea of just how much money you need to save for your later years. Most important: be realistic and avoid common planning pitfalls.

“‘What’s money mean to you?’ gives most people pause,” said Eric Hutchinson, president of Hutchinson Financial in Little Rock and Bentonville, Ark., and in Texarkana, Texas, speaking at a recent advisory panel. “Most people [say] they don’t want a whole bunch of money; they want ‘enough.’ They begin to use words like ‘comfort’ and ‘peace of mind.’”

Planning Beyond Investing

Financial advisors can reach far beyond a portfolio and investments. Most people have no idea that advisors can assist with matters as diverse as estate plans and insurance, to ensuring you invest with your head and not always your heart.

“Emotions will overcome economic considerations every time,” said Tim Maurer, wealth advisor with Buckingham Asset Management and director of personal finance for the BAM ALLIANCE, speaking on a recent advisory panel.

Why You Need a Financial Coach

Advisors are coaches who see your financial blind side. Even the best, market-savvy players can benefit from having an advisor.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Larry Light, editor-in-chief of personal finance site AdviceIQ, during a panel discussion for National Financial Advisor Week. He gave an example of how his advisor, Jim Ludwick of Main Street Financial Planning, got him into a free health-care program that he otherwise would probably never know he is eligible for.

Largest Wealth Shift Looms

A huge amount of assets will move from baby boomers to their millennial offspring over the next decade, according to the chief of a leading investment firm during National Financial Advisor Week.

“This will be the largest transfer of wealth in history,” said Nicholas Schorsch, executive director of the board of RCS Capital, who estimated the amount millennials will inherit at $30 trillion.

Checking Your Advisor

If you’re one of the some 10,000 people turning 65 every day for the next 15 years, your looming retirement probably spurs you to seek out a financial advisor to help with money decisions as you leave the workforce. Everywhere you see professionals with strings of letters after their names. How do you find the right advisor with the right credentials for you?

Don’t Understand an Advisor?

What if you don’t understand what your financial advisor tells you? When the advisor uses abstruse (to you) financial or legal terms, you’re left in the dark. That is obviously not good for you in planning your finances. Here’s how to get clarity on the advice you hear, and pay for.

One of my staff members several years ago drove the communications problem home to me with this useful bit of advice: “Rick, your clients don’t understand half as much about investing as you think they do.”

Advisors: Plans, Not Fads

Will you ever stop underperforming your own investments? The rollercoaster market naturally spurs you to chase trends and lose sight of what you really ought to do: Stick to a well-advised plan of long-term payoffs and goals.

Avoiding Crisis After a Death

Most women understand too well the odds that later life might find them alone financially. Among baby boomers, for example, an estimated seven out of 10 wives will outlive their husbands. If you’re one of these women, how do you prepare?

Advisors: What Women Need

Anyone familiar with John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus knows the premise that men and women communicate very differently. Perhaps this explains why most female investors prefer to work with a female advisor and most married women leave a male advisor after the husband dies. Starting with the first conversation, women want, need and deserve distinct treatment from financial advisors.

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