No matter what the occupation or background, just about everyone has the same mindset about money – we want more.
There are some common phrases you will hear from the pros, such as, “you want wealth, not money,” or, “your money should work for you.” These are usually good practices to follow. However, that’s not the whole story. The advisors do want you to succeed, but they also have some ways to ensure their own success. These are things they would rather you did not know. Let’s examine some of them.
Check out the 52 Ways to Be Smarter with Money in 2018 guide.
10. You Don’t Always Need a Pro
There are some people that dismiss the financial world as too complex and say you must always hire a pro. That may not be the case, particularly with filing taxes. Postcard tax filing is something may people hope happen in the future, but you still might be able to do your taxes yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with asking around. If you only have one or two income sources and W-2 forms, it’s probably easier for you to do it yourself. You can also see The One Last-Minute Tax Move You Need to Know for some more information..
9. All Pros Aren’t Created Equal
Be familiar with the certifications. CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) are the most well-known, handling consulting, taxes, accounting, and auditing. They are certified by their state. Tax Attorneys, EAs (Enrolled Agents), and CFPs (Certified Financial Planners) are more specialized and also have designated licenses.
8. Using an EA May Save Money
Enrolled Agents don’t have to go through the training and certification of the other pros. They specialize in one area, so they aren’t necessarily the best to cover all your financial needs. However, they do have to meet IRS requirements to advise on tax preparation. This might be the best route to take if the only thing you need is help with your taxes.
This should cost you a lot less than other pros. Also, they are well-equipped to give you qualified assistance. You can also look here for 40 Ways to Save 40 Percent of Your Paycheck.
7. Is The Certification Legit?
“Just because someone says they provide financial advice, it may not be that they actually provide financial advice. They might just be selling you something.” Those words of wisdom come from The Motley Fool, a respected financial services website. Depending on the type of advice you will receive, these pros have many labels – wealth manager, financial planner, life coach, and many others.
6. Run a Background Check
If you were going to hire someone, you would screen the candidates. The same applies to a financial advisor. You can check with the Better Business Bureau and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. to see if there are any issues or legal problems. Conduct an interview. (Incidentally, here are 20 Interview Questions Smart Bosses Never Ask Job Candidates.) There’s nothing wrong with finding out as much as you can about someone that will manage such a valuable asset.
5. The Best Fee Discounts Come from Friend and Family Referrals
Keep in mind these advisors are also trying to earn a living. They won’t steeply slash their fees just to be kind. But most have some discounts available. It might be a simple as asking. Your family or friends can refer you so that you can have the advantage of an established relationship.
4. You Can Go Local or National
It’s standard practice to hire an adviser that is physically near you. Like many other industries, financial planning is changing to incorporate new technology. Austin Galvez CPA from Haynie & Company, notes that many pros are very comfortable with Skype, texting, and other remote means of communication.
3. They Don’t Know the Market Any Better Than You
Really, they shouldn’t (since insider trading is illegal). They may have a lot more experience than you, but really, neither of you knows exactly where the market will go next. While using their expertise is advisable, remember that it’s not 100% guaranteed. Research is always going to help – keep these ten tips on retirement savings in mind.
2. Be Wary of Guarantees and Promises
There are far too many variables to absolutely guarantee a certain percentage or dollar amount of growth. If an advisor offers such promises, this is a red flag. The old proverb, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” should immediately leap to mind.
1. Beware of “Friendly Advice”
Well, sure, everyone wants to get the inside scoop on the next Google or Apple while the stock is only $5 a share. According to Soldier of Finance, author Jeff Rose, CFP, “You know how your friend, family member, or co-worker has this ‘sure thing’ stock tip? It rarely is. I’ve had countless people approach me looking for my approval on some random stock tip that someone (usually with no investing experience) has given them the inside scoop on. Next time this happens, the easiest way to make money is to not invest in it.”