Knowing when to hire a personal financial advisor

People who are concerned over something will inherently seek out the advice of experts for a solution.

The sick seek out doctors, those with car troubles seek out a mechanic. What about those who have concerns regarding managing their finances?

Let us introduce to you what a Financial Advisor does and when is the time to hire them.

Firstly, what is a Personal Financial Advisor?

• A one-stop concept for all your financial advisory/planning needs.

• Creates customised financial plans to best suit your needs.

• Advises you on how best to save, invest, grow, and protect your money to meet your financial goals.

• Covers areas such as investment, insurance, loans, education funds, estate planning, taxes and retirement, according to customers’ requests.

• Official credentials which are good indicators of an advisor’s experience:

– Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®)

– Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

– Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

So, when is it the right time to hire a Personal Financial Advisor? Here are five indications…

1. You are young and have little or no knowledge about managing your finances

Most of us don’t have a financial education. The common advice is to study hard, get good grades, find a secure job and stay there until retirement. We were never trained to manage our personal finances.

2. You have no inclination/desire or time to do financial planning on your own

This one is definitely one of the main reasons people hire a personal financial advisor.

While many of us are fairly smart and savvy individuals who can probably do financial planning on our own, the problem is time. Precious time we don’t want to waste on the nitty-gritty of money management.

Some people also simply don’t like to deal with figures. For situations like this, it is suitable to seek a financial advisor to sift through information to help you quickly pick up the necessary pieces about money management.

3. You want an objective and unbiased professional opinion.

Making wrong financial decisions can be disastrous and leave a huge emotional impact. It can also be the main source of unhappiness in our life i.e. marriages ending in divorce due to lack of money, inability to treat major illness due to inadequate medical insurance, and long probate court procedures over inheritance because a person died without a will.

If you’re afraid of making mistakes in your financial decisions, you need more than just random opinions from unqualified people to make the right decision.

You need professional advice from a financial advisor/planner.

It is also difficult to give objective feedback on our own financial decisions. Thus, before making any life-changing decisions, you could use expert opinion.

4. You had a major event/change in your life

At different stages of your life, you may face major changes. These changes have significant financial consequences that require a financial advisor’s advice.

• You got married.

– Tackling combined finances. No more “my income, your income”.

• You’re retiring soon.

– You know you need to plan for retirement but just don’t quite get around to it.

– Start planning this big transition in your 20s and 30s, so that in your peak earning years you will save plenty.

– Are you on track? Get a Financial Planner to verify it for you.

• You received a substantial windfall. You may never have had such a big sum of money before and want to know how to handle and grow the money received.

– You inherited a substantial sum from your parent.

– Mutual and Voluntary Separation Schemes.

– Tax implications.

• A new baby is coming.

– Many things, especially finances, need to adjust to cope with your growing family’s needs.

– You should consider education funds, estate plans, taxes, and risk management.

• You plan to buy a bigger house or a vacation house:

– A financial advisor/planner could advise you what to consider.

– A financial advisor/planner can also help you get the loan process ready as it can be a complicated long-term commitment.

• You recently got a divorce.

– Returning to a single life might take some time to adjust particularly the finances that your ex-spouse used to handle.

• Your elderly parents are now depending on you.

– You might be stressed because your income stagnates while your expenses grow.

– A financial advisor/planner can advise you how to best spend your money.

5. A personal financial advisor is useful for everyone

Financial planning is no longer a luxury service for the rich and famous. It has become a necessity for everyone.

Your first step in financial planning is drawing up your financial plan. Everyone needs a financial plan especially when you start earning money to fend for yourself. It’s all you from now onwards.

A financial plan helps you look at the big picture and set short-term and long-term objectives, a decisive step in shaping your financial future.

It is easier to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet your goals when you have a financial plan.

Working with a CFP ® professional can guarantee your financial well-being and help you achieve financial planning success.

Conclusion

Procrastination is one of the greatest obstacles to financial freedom. Be proactive in managing your financial life.

Take actions to learn about money management.

Appoint a financial advisor/planner if you can relate to any of the five reasons above.

Lastly, ensure that you continue to invest in yourself and your financial future.

This article first appeared in https://mypf.my

MyPF is on a mission to help simplify and grow Malaysians’ personal finances through financial education.