Financial Advisors Can Offer Advice but Only You Can Make Decisions


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“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal. ” -Zig Ziglar

Choosing a financial advisor can be a difficult task because it is hard to distinguish a successful advisor from an unsuccessful one. It is important to keep in mind that while financial advisors can be useful, your investment decisions have to made by yourself. Financial advisors can offer advice, direction, and field questions but they can not invest without your approval. The ultimate decision lies with you.

Therefore, you are accountable and responsible for how well or how poorly your stock options perform in the market. This is why you must take the time to educate yourself about the stock market and familiarize yourself with investment concepts and language. By being an educated investor, you can take the advice of a financial advisor and customize it to fit your unique situation.

How to Choose a Financial Advisor: The first step in choosing a financial advisor is to ask about education. Financial advisors should have at least a master's degree in finance, belong to professional advisory organizations, and have current certifications to show that he is not only educated but current on all of the tools and trends of the present market.

You want to make sure your financial advisor has experience. While new advisors have to start someplace it does not have to be you. You should always ask how much the advisor charges for his services. Payment for advising can take many different forms including hourly, retainer, and commission based. Each of these forms have levels that will apply to people of different situations. Just like any other service you will need to compare price with the quality of the service. This will help determine which financial advisor to choose.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, ask your potential financial advisors for references. If they are unwilling to give you references or offer testimonials about their successes, they should be avoided. The opinions of happy clients are always a good indicator of a quality financial advisor. Beyond the technical aspects, you need to pick someone you feel comfortable with. After all your financial advisor is just like a business partner.

You will need to trust his knowledge and be comfortable enough to share your view points. A financial advisor should never apply pressure or force you into investments you do not want. Ultimately, you make the final decision. With or without the help of a financial advisor, you are responsible for how well you do in the stock market. Be an aggressive and educated investor. Take time to understand the basics of investing and determine your financial situation and risk level.

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