A financial adviser or financial consultant is a qualified professional that offers financial advisory services to customers according to their current financial circumstances. In the United Kingdom, most advisers are regulated by the Financial Services Authority. In the United States, professional advisers must meet certain educational and registration requirements before they can offer financial advice to their clients. The main purpose of a financial adviser is to give advice to those who may have financial difficulties, but an adviser does not have to be licensed.
When you hire a financial advisor, they can help you plan your retirement, invest your money for college, buy a home or help manage your estate. Some advisers specialize in one or two areas, while others offer a wide variety of services. Some advisers work solely on their own, while others rely on independent consultants to help them design their fee plans and financial advice. While some advisers work only with accredited investors, others provide investment management and tax planning services to a broad range of clients.
Many financial advisors offer a wide range of investment options and can help people obtain investment products such as pensions, equity funds and life insurance. They can also help individuals determine where to invest their money and which products will benefit them best. Typical financial advisors also help people establish savings and retirement accounts, as well as planning for travel, mortgages, and investments. Some financial advisors specialize in specific areas such as asset protection, pension and insurance planning, equities, commercial lending and estate. Most financial advisors work with registered investment advisers, non-registered investment advisors, self-directed investment advisers and chartered financial advisors.
Some advisors can work directly with accountants, insurance companies, banks, pension fund administrators and governments. However, because they receive a commission based fees for their services, it may be more economical for people to use these types of advisors. Financial advisors are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree and have many years of experience. To become an accredited financial planner, however, an individual must undergo four years of college and earn an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or any other field with finance as a major.
Another type of financial advisor is the estate and asset allocation advisor. These advisors help individuals create a plan for investment in real estate, ensuring that the client receives the highest returns possible while paying the lowest possible fees. Many estate and asset allocation advisors work with a network of other experienced advisors, as well as independent consultants. While an estate and asset allocation advisor cannot advise a client directly, they can provide asset allocation advice and help coordinate the planning between the client and other advisors.
Financial advisors can also be called brokers, as well. Brokers connect people with registered investment advisors. Some brokers also work as financial advisors on their own. Registered advisors work solely for themselves, receiving a single registered investment advisor commission for each client they manage. The cost of these services is usually less than the fees paid to financial advisors, and commissions are subject to the rules of the various investment companies.