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Who Needs One and What to Look For

At some point in every saver’s life, especially successful ones, the idea of seeking professional advice comes up. The right professional can theoretically increase your returns by more than their cost, while at the same time making your life much easier by staying on top of the details, so you don’t have to.

The problem? Knowing when the time is right, then finding the right professional for your specific needs.

Back in the day, this process was a mess. You had to find people you could trust, then conduct in-person interviews, attempting to nail down things like ethics, competence and compensation.

These days, the process is much simpler.

Let’s go over the basics for determining if you need a professional advisor, and if so, how to find the right one with the least hassle.

Do you need a pro?

If you’ve got substantial savings, say $100,000 or more, you should at least consider hiring professional help. Here’s why.

  • It’s possible they’ll make you richer: While there’s obviously no guarantee a pro can outperform you, it’s possible. One Vanguard study found that a hypothetical $500,000 investment would grow to $1.7 million over 25 years if managed alone, but over $3.4 million with a financial advisor. That’s twice as much!
  • Maximizing retirement savings: An advisor can help you maximize your retirement savings by optimizing your investment portfolio, minimizing taxes, and taking advantage of all available retirement account options.
  • Financial planning: A financial advisor can work with you to develop an overall, holistic financial plan tailored to your specific goals, risk tolerance, and financial situation.
  • Avoiding costly mistakes: The more you have in savings, the costlier any mistakes will be. A financial advisor can help you avoid them.
  • Maximizing retirement income: Financial advisors can help you maximize your retirement income by optimizing Social Security benefits, creating withdrawal strategies, and exploring all your sources of retirement income, such as pensions, annuities, and rental properties.
  • Income tax planning: Financial advisors can help you minimize taxes by strategically structuring your investments, taking advantage of tax-deferred options, implementing tax-loss harvesting strategies, and planning for tax-efficient withdrawal strategies.
  • Estate planning: A financial advisor can assist you in creating an estate plan and minimizing estate taxes. They can also help you plan your legacy and charitable giving goals.
  • Peace of Mind: Working with a trusted financial advisor can give you greater confidence and peace of mind. And they’ll be there for your loved ones if one day you’re not.

If none of these benefits appeals to you, then you may not need a financial pro. But if any or all of them do, read on.

How to find the right financial advisor

Years ago, the vast majority of financial advisors were compensated by commissions, which often made their advice and motivations suspect. These days, many advisors are fiduciaries, meaning they’re legally obligated to act in your best interests. In addition, many are Certified Financial Planners, so they’re also better qualified and more competent. This makes the process of finding a qualified advisor safer and simpler.

Even better, now there are companies specializing in finding the right pro for your specific needs. For example, MoneyPickle is a free service that matches you with experienced, ethical financial advisors. You simply fill out a brief online questionnaire, and Money Pickle searches their extensive database to find the ideal advisor for your situation. Then, you schedule a totally free, online consultation with your chosen advisor to get your questions answered and ensure it’s a good fit.

Even the most experienced investors want to know if they’re on the right track. And what better way than to talk to a pro about your financial situation and get some free advice? Take Money Pickle’s short survey right now. You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to potentially gain.

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