A financial consultant is a specialist who assists clients in developing a strategy for their financial well-being.
A type of financial advisor is a financial consultant. A financial consultant will assess your present financial condition and devise a strategy to assist you to achieve your long-term objectives.
Definition of a Financial Consultant
Financial advisors help their clients better understand their assets and what they want those assets to do in the future. AÂ financial advisory consultant, for example, can propose the sort of retirement account to use, suggest certain investments, and answer concerns about how much to save if a client wants to prepare for retirement but isnâ€™t sure how.
Financial consultants may be able to help clients with more specialised needs like tax preparation and insurance, depending on their training, background, and certification level.
Although the terms â€œfinancial consultantâ€ and â€œfinancial adviserâ€ are frequently interchanged, some financial consultants have earned the title of chartered financial consultant or ChFC. ChFCs may be able to provide more specialised financial planning, such as company or divorce planning, than other financial counsellors. To be clear, not all people who call themselves financial advisors have earned the ChFC designation. Always inquire about any potential financial advisorâ€™s specialised certificates.
What is the role of a financial consultant?
To help clients identify what those goals should be, financial consultants look at the entire picture of their financial lives, including debts, assets, expenses, and income. Financial consultants with the appropriate licences can also handle the investments of their customers.
The services you obtain from a financial consultant are also determined by the type of expert you hire. For those looking for aÂ financial advisory consultantÂ or financial counsellor, there are three main options:
- Robo-advisorsÂ are a low-cost way to manage your portfolio. A Robo-advisor can handle your investment portfolio for you if youâ€™re interested in investing but donâ€™t want to manage it yourself. Financial planning services and tools are also available from certain Robo-advisors.
- Investment management and other types of financial guidance are both available through online financial advisory consulting. Online financial planning service is less expensive than an in-person advisor if you require more comprehensive financial planning than just investment management.
- in-person financial consultants or advisorsÂ are the most expensive, maintaining a long-term relationship with the same counsel can be helpful. When youâ€™re buying a house, saving for retirement, or figuring out how to pay for your childâ€™s college tuition, an in-person advisor can get to know your personality, your family, and your town, which can be reassuring.
The following are ten questions you should ask a financial counsellor.
- Do you work as a fiduciary?
- Type of connection will we have?
- What are your credentials?
- What is your approach to investing?
- Which asset allocation strategy will you employ?
- My total expenses?
- Method do you use to get paid?
- What are your investment benchmarks?
- Who is the person in charge of looking after you?
- What tax consequences will I have if I invest with you?
What makes a financial consultant different from a financial advisor?
The distinction between a financial consultant and a financial advisor is sometimes blurred. Many investment firms conflate the two phrases.
Financial consultants and advisors might have a number of different licences or certifications. Many of them have FINRA licences, such as Series 7 and 66, which allow them to sell securities. (The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulates broker-dealers.) Others may be ChFCs or have another specific certification, such as a CFP.
Because there is minimal legislation limiting what finance professionals call themselves, it is the consumerâ€™s responsibility to exercise extreme caution when dealing with one. Finding a fee-only fiduciary is one of the best methods to ensure you can trust yourÂ financial advisory consultant. Fiduciaries are financial consultants or advisors who are expected to work in their clientsâ€™ best interests and do not collect compensation for investments they offer.
Always look into a possible advisorâ€™s background to see what credentials and licences they have. Some CFPs, for example, are fee-only fiduciaries, but not all of them.
Do I require the services of a financial advisor?
Whether or not you require the services of a financial counsellor is determined by your specific circumstances. If you have a relatively simple investment portfolio and donâ€™t feel comfortable managing it yourself, you may employ a Robo-advisor as a low-cost alternative.
If your investments are complicated, or you require assistance with matters other than investment management, such as estate planning, tax advice, or debt repayment, you shouldÂ consult a financial expertÂ or check into online financial planning services.
When you go through important life changes or events, itâ€™s a good idea to get counsel from a financial advisory consultant. Getting married, having a child, or changing jobs can all have significant financial consequences. A professional can assist you in navigating these changes and making improvements to your entire financial plan.