Why seek help? Consumers seek the advice of financial professionals for a myriad of reasons.
- A Lack of Time
Let's face it, dealing with all the financial matters before you takes time. Between the demands of work and family, your finances may be on the back burner. What's more, when you do make an effort to deal with your finances, it's easy to get bogged down with all the information that's available and be unable to make a decision. The various financial professionals out there can provide the guidance, information and discipline you need to improve your financial decision-making and move forward. Your decision-making might actually become easier since the assistance you receive can help you to see the integrated, big picture of you finances and understand how individual financial decisions impact other areas of your finances.
- A Professional Opinion
You may be confident you've made all the right moves with your money, but you may feel the need to check with a professional to ensure your best chance of success. While many financial professionals help with an overall financial plan, you can also hire one for assistance with a specific project, from buying long-term care insurance to developing a strategy for your retirement income stream.
- Specific Expertise
You may be comfortable selecting a mutual fund, but not know where to begin when it comes to exercising your stock options. Or, perhaps, you're interested in exploring a better tax strategy and want a professional assessment of the available options. There are professionals who focus on these specific areas and it can be a good idea to take advantage of their experience.
- Sudden Change in Lifestyle
Often, the birth of a child, an inheritance, a major illness, starting a new business, or death of a spouse can prompt you to take stock of your overall financial situation. Often, because of the emotions involved in these life-changing events, the disciplined, rational counsel of a financial professional can be beneficial.
Financial professionals offer a broad range of services. From analyzing your insurance needs, preparing your taxes, creating your will and estate plans, to providing advice on how to allocate your investments in a 401(k), financial professionals can help you with a variety of issues to help you make smart decisions about your money and financial plans.
While the services you need from a financial professional might vary, what you should expect from the relationship with one should not. Any financial professional you hire should address the matters with which you need help, be honest, and answer your questions promptly and clearly.
It is also important to realize what a financial professional cannot do for you. Working with a financial professional does not ensure you will beat the stock market every year or anticipate every financial concern. What's more, it's unlikely you'll realize the full benefits of the business relationship unless you participate fully in the process by committing time to meet with your financial professional and following through on his or her advice.
While choosing a financial professional might seem overwhelming, the good news is research shows consumers with a written financial plan are more satisfied with how they plan and manage financial affairs. In addition, research also shows most people are satisfied with their choice of adviser.
The ultimate answer to whether you need professional help lies with you. Be willing to take a good look at your own competencies and habits.