Chapter 4 – Why use a financial advisor or an investment guide?
An experienced financial adviser can help you plan your investment portfolio for future profits making sense of the jungle of investment options, risk profiles and markets. A serious financial advisor will tell you all about the risks entailed and will spend more time on that subject than talking about profits. Great financial advisors can match you with the right kind of investments by listening to your circumstances, understanding your goals and how you feel about taking risks with your money.
They can also manage your investments once they are in place. This costs of having your money managed depends on investment types and what assistance you need. Proven financial advice almost always costs money. If you ask your lawyer for advice, it costs money. If you ask an architect, it costs money and it's the same with a financial advisor. However, some of the costs involved in using a financial advisor might already be included in investment programs as part of their fee structure. But of course, it's money well spent if the adviser can help you choose a product that is better suited to your ambitions and requirements and may perform better than one you might choose and manage yourself.
It is crucial to understand what you are planning to buy as well as the risks involved before you enter any investment program. To find the right company to invest with, it's always good to ask a trusted friend whether he/she can recommend an independent financial adviser. You can also look for yourself via online search engines. Financial associations in your region will often have a list of the different qualifications an adviser possesses as well as the professional bodies that represent them. However, more and more people are choosing to handle their own investments to cut out advisory fees and take control of their own finances.
Since risk is such an important part of selecting your investments, many online tools are now available to help you identify funds or other investment programs or products that match your own risk profile. There are some platforms that provide an online questionnaire to measure your attitude to risk and investment goals, which will then generate a list of suggested investment opportunities or even ready-made portfolios for you to invest in. Many also offer lists of recommended funds which aren't tailored to individuals but are based on in-house research. These lists can be a source of inspiration and validation of your existing investment choices but should not to be confused with advice - it is just guidance.
Remember, investing is not just about price and performance. While keeping costs low is important, since extra charges will influence returns, the emphasis should be on value for money rather than price. There is always a price for quality.