In this environment, there is always something new to consider, something old to revisit and something interesting just beyond the horizon. Keeping up with the industry is an important part of a financial services professional's life, and continuing education is required for many of these experts to maintain their credentials. What this means for the self-taught expert is that you will always have an opportunity to add to your body of knowledge.
Once you have a solid understanding of the various aspects of the financial services world, it is time to spend some time talking to the experts. Financial services professionals make a living with their expertise and can help you learn about everything from mortgages and debt management to retirement and estate planning. Some of these topics are covered in seminars, others in one-on-one consultations. You can even pick up a thing or two just by having an informal conversation. Talk to a professional financial advisor, talk to your banker, talk to your accountant and your attorney. Then listen and learn as they share their knowledge.
As a professional sales trainer with more than 25 years of experience, Grant Cardone and his company work with small business owners and Fortune 500 companies from around the world to help increase their annual revenue. Unlike the majority of personal finance experts, including Dave Ramsey and Chris Hogan, Cardone teaches his followers not to worry about spending a lot of money or getting into debt. In fact, he once said, ‘‘Your problem is never debt or [over] spending.’’ He believes that people should focus their time and energy on making more money instead of struggling to make ends meet with what little they currently have. According to Cardone, there is no limit on a person’s earning potential; however, at the end of the day, one can only reduce their living expenses by so much. This is why he tells people that the only way to thrive and not merely survive in this new economy is to get out of the middle class and become a high-income earner.
There are several resources available that can help you know if an advisor is a fiduciary. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) has an online search tool that makes it easy to find certified financial planners in your area. Every advisor in that system operates on a fee-only basis and promises to act as a fiduciary. Garrett Planning Network is another planner organization of fiduciary financial planners who charge an hourly rate. Additionally, the Certified Financial Planners Board has an advisor search tool. You can use it to look up a particular planner and see their experience and history.
Fiduciary duty is important for guiding the actions of the professionals who deal with clients’ money. It’s also important because, when violated, it provides an avenue for legal action. If a financial professional who isn’t a fiduciary has been knowingly selling you low-performing, high-fee investments, you don’t have the legal standing that you would have if the professional were a fiduciary.
He wanted to marry him to a girl named Brinda, the daughter of the owner of a tea estate in Mempi Hills. When a pundit, after an honest study, declared that the horoscopes of Balu and Brinda did not match, he was curtly dismissed with a fee of one rupee. Another astrologer, whom Dr. Pal found, gave it in writing that the two horoscope matched perfectly and was paid Rs. 75 for his pains. “Money can dictate the very stars in their course.”
The terms "financial planner" and "financial advisor" typically mean the same thing, but certainly, not all financial planners or financial advisors are alike. The level of education, training, and experience that a professional has will make a big difference in the quality of the advice you receive. Some people do their own financial planning, and others look for professional assistance. An experienced financial planner can usually help improve the quality of the financial decisions you make.
Compensation: The employer must consider the compensation arrangement required by the advisor. Will the advisor charge hourly or annual retainer fees, or commissions, or some combination thereof? Will compensation for all services be the same? May the fiduciary advisor charge a flat fee for offering retirement plan advice, and then make a commission on the sale of long-term-care insurance to the same employee?
You might also encounter financial planners who cater exclusively to the rich and refuse clients with less than $250,000 to invest. Don’t take it personally—hugely successful planners would just prefer to deal with big accounts rather than beginner clients. You want a planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
In Australia, a company providing financial services must obtain a licence from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). However, there are no requirements for the individuals providing the financial advice, and the ASIC website states that "Holding an AFS licence does not provide a guarantee of the probity or quality of the licensee's services."