Finding a financial advisor is relatively easy, finding the right financial advisor for you, or determining if you even need a financial advisor… Now that is a challenge. There are many types of financial advisors, ranging from tax to investment, from percentage based to fee based, and you will need to look in different places depending on your needs. Prior to reading this article, I recommend reading, 14 Types of Financial Advisors: Managing Acronym Soup, which will help you understand the various types of financial advisors. If you already know what type of financial advisor you are looking for, lets discuss how to go about finding a financial advisor.
Finding a Financial Advisor – Lower-Income
Hopefully, you have a tad bit more money than the image above would suggest… Unfortunately, the people who need financial advisors most are likely those who cannot afford them. Take the heavily in debt college graduate, or someone recovering from bankruptcy, they need help managing their finances. For those who do not have a lot of resources, you are in luck! Not only can Top Financial Advisor provide you with assistance, but there are also hundreds of books out there which can help. A few cheap books I recommend:
- College Student: $10 – Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties
- Everyone: $8 – Personal Finance for Dummies (actually pretty good)
- Older: $13 – Preparing for Retirement: A Comprehensive Guide to Financial Planning
- Everyone (personal favorite): $12 – Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom
Although you may have trouble finding an affordable financial advisor if you are classified as “low-income” I do suggest you keep reading. It is always possible to find someone willing to help you in a given situation, and/or have a filmily member or friend help you out. I also recommend the books above, they have provided me with some insight and I hope it will help you as well.
Finding a Financial Advisor – Medium-Income
Those who have a medium income are really those who have the greatest benefit from a financial advisor. Men and women who are already wealthy likely have been accustomed to using financial advisors for most of their life. Where as medium income individuals really need help finding a financial advisor. If you have a disposable income I recommend first and foremost trying to buy and play Rich Dad Cashflow 101 board game. This is how I learned to invest, and taught my girlfriend as well. Last year I managed to rake in ~$4,000 in passive income (i.e. without working), as a full time college student, all of which came from a single $500 investment (not bad eh?).
I am recommending more or less not finding a financial advisor if you can avoid it. Every penny is important and learning some tricks of the trade yourself can be beneficial, especially when you only have a medium-income. Your investments would likely be roughly the same size as mine, $500 – $5,000. Just the tax on that is 10 – 40% (depending), then if you have a percentage based financial advisor, you’re pretty much out of luck.
On the other hand, I would recommend investing in a trusted hedge fund or index funds. In other words, do not waste your time trying to find a financial advisor. In other words, spend your time learning about investment rather than trying to find a financial advisor. The caveat being if you are bringing in any investment money you should hire a tax accountant to file your taxes. This will cost you a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending how complicated your taxes are.
Finding a Financial Advisor – High-Income
If (or once) you have a high-income it is best to begin using financial advisors regularly. They can protect you against accidentally breaking a law (for which ignorance is not an excuse), very important. In this case, I recommend simply looking up financial advisors in your area, as a local financial advisor can be more “in-tune” with the laws in your specific county, city or state. Further, remember to ask him/her some questions.
Most importantly, you need a financial advisor to manage wealth. Make sure you have a tax accountant which you go to yearly, and make sure they have a CPA, because they are then legally liable if there is a mistake (rather than yourself). Even better, they can keep the IRS off your back, keep you out of jail, and likely even help you save money on taxes (which is pretty hefty when you reach higher levels of wealth). You can find tax accountants with a simple google search, such as this one.
Beyond accountants you should be able to figure out how to make money on your own, via following the recommended books and games above. It is always possible to hire someone else to manage your finances and “make money,” but you are also losing the opportunity to make more money by learning to be a good investor yourself.