What does a Personal Financial Advisor do?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Personal financial advisors are professionals who assist individuals in arranging their finances to best advantage. In some cases, the advisor is engaged for a short period of time as a means of helping someone create a basic financial plan to follow. At other times, the advisor is retained as a consultant over the long term and may provided clients with counsel on all sorts of money management and investment issues.

Personal financial advisors may help clients build investment portfolios of stocks, bonds, properties and other holdings.
Personal financial advisors may help clients build investment portfolios of stocks, bonds, properties and other holdings.

Many people turn to a personal financial advisor when they have lost control of their finances. In this capacity, the advisor can evaluate the current fiscal status of the client, including examining their spending habits. Once the advisor has a solid understanding of the current financial condition of the client, he or she can begin working with the client to develop and implement a practical budget that will make it possible to honor all monthly obligations. At the same time, the personal financial advisor helps the client learn how to minimize unnecessary spending and begin to regain some degree of financial security.

Personal financial advisors are professionals who assist individuals in arranging their finances to best advantage.
Personal financial advisors are professionals who assist individuals in arranging their finances to best advantage.

The personal financial advisor also works with clients over the long term, especially when the client is building an investment portfolio that may include stocks, bonds, properties and other types of holdings. A competent advisor can provide effective counsel regarding how to diversify the holdings to generate the best financial gain as well as how to make the best use of current tax laws. The advisor can also provide constructive suggestions on how to choose the right investments in order to achieve the financial goals adopted by the client.

A personal financial advisor can help a person examine their spending habits.
A personal financial advisor can help a person examine their spending habits.

Choosing a personal financial advisor career requires acquiring a strong background in the world of finance. Often, the advisor education will include the acquisition of advanced degrees dealing with finance and accounting, as well as practical experience acquired at various types of financial institutions. In addition, a personal financial advisor must have excellent communication skills, both in terms of articulating information to clients in a manner they readily grasp and in understanding the information clients are providing.

A personal financial advisor can help parents devise plans to put money away for their children's education.
A personal financial advisor can help parents devise plans to put money away for their children's education.

When it comes to the matter of a personal financial advisor salary, some advisors are placed on a retainer and charge by the hour for their services as needed. In some cases, advisors may work out arrangements with a client to provide unlimited financial counsel for a flat fee per month. Advisors who are part of a practice or firm may receive a salary as well as a commission on the fees charged to clients they actively serve on a monthly basis.

People often turn to the experience of older friends and relatives for financial advice.
People often turn to the experience of older friends and relatives for financial advice.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

MrsPramm

@Ana1234 - Well, it's not always as simple as that. I think a lot of the time the average person is just overwhelmed with their options and doesn't know how to use their money wisely.

I also think sometimes the best financial advisors can be people who are successful with their money.

I would go and see if I could find a friend or other acquaintance who was around the same age as me and ask them what they do. It's a strange question to ask, maybe, but if you are genuine you might get some good information.

Ana1234

@clintflint - I would argue that it's a bit of a waste of money for all but the most clueless of people. I mean, you can get all that information from online if you look for it. There are plenty of websites dedicated to giving people free financial advice.

Unless you somehow managed to get hold of one of the top financial advisors in your area (and if you can manage to do that you've probably got enough money to hire them) I would say just do a bit of research and organize your own money.

clintflint

It's actually not a bad idea to have a short session with a personal financial planner to see what they have to say. Make it very clear that you only intend on having one or two sessions with them and bring as much general information about your finances as you can (they might even let you send it ahead so they can prepare).

It's just like seeing a psychologist.

You might think you know enough and you don't need to see them (and you're probably right) but they have so much extra expert knowledge that can be useful it's a shame to go without it.

And they will be able to put a spin on things that you might not have seen before. There's a good reason they sometimes bring them in on reality TV shows to change a person's life around. They can really make a huge difference.

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