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When It Is Right To Work With A Financial Advisor

Updated on May 31, 2010

Should you get financial advice?

Money is one of those things that plagues everyone in some form or another. Many people don't feel like they understand it at all, most people feel like they will never have enough of it and almost everyone thinks that winning the lottery would solve a lot of their problems because then they just wouldn't have to think about money anymore. But the fact is that money doesn't actually need to be as overwhelming as it feels like it is most of the time. Understanding your financial situation just takes a little bit of organization. If you can't do that yourself, you might consider working with a financial advisor to help calm your money fears and get you back on track with bills.

Here are some signs that working with a financial advisor would be a good idea for you:

  • You frequently pay bills late and accumulate related fees because you don't remember what needs to pay out when.
  • You feel overwhelmed thinking about trying to get your finances in order.
  • Someone asks you about what your financial goals are and you don't even have a starting point for the conversation.
  • You are about to make a big money decision in your life such as the acquisition of life insurance, the creation of a will or the purchase of a home and you need some outside advice on what financial steps you need to take regarding this decision.
  • You have been audited for your personal taxes or you are afraid that you might get audited. Any time that taxes are really causing a stress in your life, you probably don't understand your financial situation and could benefit from some advice by a financial advisor.
  • You want to expand your investments but don't actually have a full grasp on how to do so. For example, you want to start buying stocks, but you don't really understand the stock market and could benefit from the services of someone who has that knowledge.

Okay, so you've looked at the list and you think that a financial advisor might be a good idea for you, but then you think a little bit more about it and you wonder if it really makes sense to spend money to have someone else tell you how to better spend your money. I mean, when you think about it, spending money to save money doesn't always make sense. But if a financial advisor can reduce your spending, assist you with your money goals and eliminate the stress of money in your life, it might be a wise investment.

What you should be aware of when trying to determine whether the benefits of working with a financial advisor outweigh the costs is the fact that there are multiple ways in which a financial advisor might get paid. Selecting the right advisor in terms of payment can male it easier for you to decide that working with that person is a good idea.

Know that there are two basic ways to pay your financial advisor, via fee or via commission, although there are combination options depending upon your needs. For fee-based services, the advisor will charge you an hourly rate. This rate is usually somewhere around $150 per hour but that varies depending upon your location and exact need. Alternatively, you could go with commission-based services which give the advisor a percentage of the money gained from taking the advisor's advice. This will be the case if you are looking to get involved in purchases of items like stocks and you need assistance making those decisions.

If your financial situation is overwhelming you and you need assistance in getting back on track, don't be afraid to ask for help. Financial advisors exist because people around the world have concerns and questions about money that can be eased with professional advice. Whether you want some insight into improving your investments or you simply want to learn how to keep your monthly bills organized, a financial advisor could provide what you're looking for.

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