A financial adviser or financial planner is a specialist who offers financial advice to customers based on his/her financial expertise. In most countries, financial advisers must first complete certain training and also be registered with an appropriate regulatory body in order to offer financial advice. They are experts in financial advising, as they are expected to be able to provide sound advice on a wide range of issues related to personal finance. It is very important that you choose your financial adviser carefully because your adviser must have sufficient knowledge, experience and understanding of financial affairs to be able to offer sound financial advice.
A good adviser can provide sound advice on the best investment option for you based on your current personal finance situation, income and other factors. The adviser should be able to give sound advice without making unrealistic assumptions or recommending an inappropriate investment plan or product. Your chosen adviser should have adequate knowledge of investment products like shares, bonds, mutual funds and GICs. He should also possess good knowledge about your specific goals and objectives. Financial advice provided by such advisers can help you plan and implement a suitable investment strategy.
In addition to financial advice, there are other aspects of personal finance that an independent financial adviser may consider. If you have made a will that includes investment decisions for your future, then your chosen adviser may consider your living standards and assets as factors to determine your retirement and wealth protection needs. Independent financial advisers also look at your credit report to ensure that you maintain a good credit score. They also consider the risks associated with your current level of income, savings and investments to recommend appropriate retirement and wealth protection plans. In some cases, independent financial advisers may be asked to conduct personal visits to your home, workplace or other places of your daily living in order to determine whether you are able to meet the requirements of your investment strategy.
Before considering any financial advice, it is always advisable to verify the credentials of any adviser. A person qualified as an independent financial adviser has undergone specialized training in financial affairs and has completed a minimum of 200 hours of training in the areas of finance and accounting. In addition to their training, they should also hold a CPA or be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
There are two types of retirement advice – one is for the immediate or future, and the second is for the past or future. If you are planning for your future retirement, then it is important to ensure that you have a suitable budget that ensures maximum income potential, healthy lifestyle and longevity. The cost of retirement can be quite high depending on your age, health and gender. However, a well planned financial advice can go a long way in reducing the impact of your retirement on your finances and provide you with adequate savings or investment income over your lifetime. On the other hand, for those who are planning for the past or near future, then it is important to ensure that you maintain a high quality of life and avoid spending unnecessarily on non-essentials.
The most important step towards maintaining a good financial status after retirement is proper retirement planning. Proper retirement planning includes investment analysis, evaluation of the risks and rewards involved in the various types of investments (like bonds, mutual funds, stocks etc), determining the amount required for retirement, discussion on various investment options like stock and real estate investments, and lastly, making appropriate investments in your chosen financial services so that you do not need to change your financial services while transitioning to the next stage of your life. Retirement advice can be provided from any financial services company including insurance companies, investment advisers, banks, and pension providers. These financial services companies can provide you with effective retirement advice on all types of investments, including tax saving options, estate planning, and other options.