A financial adviser or financial planner is a person who gives financial advice to customers according to their financial circumstances. In most countries, financial advisers must first complete certain formal training and then be registered with an authoritative regulatory body to give professional advice. They should also be expected to have expert knowledge of the financial markets and a wide range of financial tools such as investment products, derivatives, insurance, and banking products. The main aim of a financial adviser is to help people plan and manage their money so that they can reach their goals, either financially or socially.
There are many different types of financial advisers. Some specialize in advising only wealth or retirement accounts, while others work with individuals, families, and corporations. While some advisers work exclusively for firms or individuals, there are also Financial Advice independent financial advisers who can provide good advice to any customer. The best way to find the right advice for you is to consider your circumstances and seek out the most appropriate professional for the task.
One area where financial advisers spend a lot of time is in advising about how to invest money. Typically, financial advice is sought from a financial adviser when planning retirement or investment. This involves calculating the amount of money that will be spent on housing, insurance, and transportation and also evaluating investment opportunities. Good financial advice is aimed at providing the right investment choices for a long-term benefit. An independent financial adviser will be able to provide this advice, although a financial planner or bank will usually be more experienced and able to take into account specific investment needs.
Most advisers start off by obtaining a few supervisory qualifications, such as becoming a registered investment consultant (RIC). After this, a financial adviser can become a member of professional bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in London (ICAN), the Institute of Internal Professionals in London (IPL), the Institute of Financial Services in London (IFS). The advantage of being a member of one or more of these bodies is that it allows you to build up credibility. These organizations are also able to provide professional development seminars and other resources to help you learn more about investment strategies. However, the majority of financial advice is still sought from an independent financial adviser.
Another popular area of financial advice deals with savings and investment. As with pension and insurance investments, savings and investments come in many shapes and sizes. The majority of savings comes from life insurance and life cover policies, with some coming from bonds and some from savings accounts. Insurance and pensions are both used to supplement the savings that people make. Some individuals opt for a lump sum as their saving goal; however, many choose to save into a defined benefit plan, where a set amount of money is guaranteed to them either at birth or at retirement.
Quality financial advice can also come from professional planners, including those who work independently and those who belong to associations such as the Financial Planning Association, or FPA. Professional planners have a strong commitment to quality standards and their services are backed by strict regulatory controls. Also, unlike self-employed consultants and advisers, professional planners are regulated by government agencies.
Another key area of financial advice deals with estate planning. Estate agents can help people who are interested in saving for their future, but who are inexperienced when it comes to doing so. They can help individuals and couples alike find the right home – whether it be a vacation home, second home, rental property, or a primary residence. Many people will invest a large sum of money into their estates and leave it to their financial advisors to handle the rest.
Another area of financial advice is that which pertains to investing for retirement. Whether it is saving for a pension or saving for a retirement account, it is important that any money put into the fund be managed wisely. Many financial advisers offer financial advice services involving retirement accounts and investments. Individuals can choose a retirement plan either on their own or through a financial adviser.