Should I Hire A Financial Advisor?

Financial planning has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Financial planners, money managers, and brokers where once only reserved for the wealthy.  Today this is no longer true.  Services are now available to virtually all economic levels of clients.  So, who should hire a financial advisor?

First things first: there are several types of advisors out there, and in my opinion (which is shared by an ever growing number of people) the advisor to seek out should be a comprehensive, fee-only advisor. It would take me several pages to fully explain my reasoning, but I feel I can break it down into two main reasons:

      1. to be successful, I feel financial planning should be attacked from a big-picture perspective because every piece of the financial puzzle needs to work hand-in-glove.

      2. Working with a fee-only advisor gives the client the best opportunity to receive unbiased advice…..advice that can be delivered to the client with the clients best interest in mind and not the back pocket (commissions) of the advisor dispensing the advice.

Who needs an advisor?

The short answer to this question is very simple: virtually everyone could benefit from the right advisor. Not everyone will benefit from every advisor, but I feel strongly that everyone could benefit from the right advisor, regardless of their economic status.

My wife and I employ our own fee-only advisor. We do this not because I’m not good at what I do, but because I relish an objective opinion.  Plus, my wife sometimes enjoys a perspective other than mine.

How can those with little benefit from a financial advisor?

I sometimes hear, “I don’t have much, so how can you help me?” Well, maybe you don’t have much because you haven’t been doing the right things. I have a service offering that is affordable for young couples, and one of my favorite things to discuss with them is how not to make mistakes financially. This is a great service to young people starting out because implementing solid financial planning practices early on in one’s life can have a huge impact on their financial success.

A Financial Planning Misconception

Most prospective clients that walk into my office equate financial planning to investments, but real financial planning is much more than just investments.  Financial planning is making the most of your unique situation, and everyone is different. This is why financial planning can be valuable to everyone. From those just starting out to those with a high net worth, beneficial planning can be established by developing  a plan which squeezes the maximum potential out of each situation while balancing the beauty of life between today and tomorrow.

About the author

Troy Von Haefen, CFP®


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  • Can you please give me some idea of what a fee only financial advisor such as yourself charges?

    Between my husband and myself we have several different small retirement and/or 401k / 302b plans and would like help sorting out whether to consolidate them or keep them separate. We also need to make some decisions regarding long term care insurance and benefits / costs of automatic inflation increases or future purchase option increases. Also paying off debt and/or mortgage versus increasing 401k contributions.

    Thank you for a sense of what it might cost to work with a professional on these concerns.

  • Joe

    I can’t speak specifically about the appropriateness of an investment inside your portfolio without knowing all the details. I will say that I usually find other ways to achieve investment objectives without utilizing annuities. I caution you to look closely at the fees charged for these annuities. If you would like to discuss this further, feel free to contact me in office at 615-353-9646.
    Troy Von Haefen

  • how safe is investment in a good variable annunity such as prudential or metlife. I understand i lose use of the principal, and the cash balance goes down, but the lifetime income remains and with a rider, goes up with inflaion or perhaps even faster. i’m thinking of metlife’s new one that guarantees 6% and taking 6% in the first year and each year afterwards.
    your comments, please.

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