What A Great Financial Adviser Can Do For You

Last week, retired investment advisor and author Paul Merriman wrote an excellent column for SmartMoney titled “How to choose a great financial adviser.

It’s worthwhile reading for those who are new to using an adviser, or who perhaps question exactly what it is an adviser can do, or should do, for you. If you thought a great adviser does no more than manage your investments, think again.

Here are some excerpts from Merriman’s column that explain the many ways in which an adviser can help improve your financial picture (for the entire article, just follow the link above):

“Financial advice isn’t free. If you have a financial adviser, one way or another you will pay. However, if you use your adviser wisely, you can get far more than your money’s worth.”

“If you are not currently working with an adviser, you may be thinking: “Why should I pay for somebody to help me do what I’m already doing just fine on my own?” That is a valid question.”

“Even though you may not want to hear it, a great adviser will tell you, if necessary, that you need to save more money and invest less aggressively.”

“A great adviser will help you make the right choices with investments that he cannot manage directly, such as a variable annuity or your 401(k) or similar retirement plan. Some advisers charge for this service, while others don’t.”

“Your adviser can help you initiate the sometimes-awkward discussions you should have with your children, your parents, your spouse or other relatives concerning wills, health-care issues and finances.”

“A good adviser can help couples negotiate their spending levels before and after retirement. Very often, one spouse is more of a spender and the other is more a saver.”

“Your adviser should get to know and gain the trust of your spouse, your partner or your grown children so they understand the plan behind your investments — and so that your adviser can help them after your death. This can be especially valuable to survivors who do not know a lot about investing or who may not be comfortable taking charge of financial assets.”

“If you have aging parents who don’t have (or need) an adviser of their own, your adviser should help you suggest to them the best ways to use and preserve their assets. Sometimes this doubled or even tripled their cash flow with very little additional risk.”

“A great adviser will have already done the necessary due diligence to find competent attorneys who don’t gouge their clients and who will help them steer clear of unnecessary (and sometimes very expensive) arrangements.”

“A great adviser understands home ownership and mortgages and can help clients decide if and when it makes sense to refinance. When refinancing does make sense, a great adviser will know where to look for the best rates and the best service — and how to avoid the mortgage traps.”

“A great adviser will help you choose the most advantageous time to begin taking Social Security and the best choices in selecting pension options.”

“Your adviser should give you guidance on which investments to keep and which ones to consider selling.”

Concludes Merriman, “you should be able to get many of these services from your adviser at no extra cost. Over time, that could make him one of the best investment bargains you’ll find.”


About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!
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