Working with an Advisor
Now that Valeria has a good background for making her first investment decisions, she realizes she needs some objective advice. She’s afraid she could get taken advantage of or end up losing a lot of money if she trusts the wrong person. Luckily, there are ways for her to find out more about financial advisors and how to protect herself.
Taking care of your finances is like taking care of your health. You need to do regular checkups. But just like going to a doctor for your physical, not everyone wants to do their own financial planning, In fact, many of us prefer to have the assistance of a licensed financial practitioner.
Use these tips to help you identify a qualified, knowledgeable financial planner:
Make sure the planner is interested in your needs. You don’t want someone who offers the same type of plan to everyone, and you don’t want someone who is just interested in collecting fees or commissions from selling products.
Tools to Check on an Investment Professional
When you are using an investment professional, you will want to be thorough in your research. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has compiled several tools to help you verify the information your investment advisor has provided. Remember that even financial professionals can choose investments that lose money in the short term. Having a planner doesn’t guarantee positive returns. However, having a planner helps keep your investments at a risk level appropriate for you, and often means that you don’t lose as much in a down market as you would have managing your investments on your own.