A financial consultant or financial adviser is an individual who offers financial advisory services to clients according to their current financial circumstances. In most countries, financial advisers are required to complete certain formal training and obtain a regulated registration with a regulatory body. The training usually takes two years from a University and involves the study of accounting, finance, taxation and business.
It is important to note that financial advisors cannot offer legal or tax advice. Financial advisers can offer sound financial advice regarding investment strategies. They can also provide assistance with savings and investment plans. Generally, financial advisers can help individuals create a plan for long term financial goals and help with investment and saving for retirement.
Some common financial advisors specialize in a particular area such as money market, stock market, futures and options, bonds and savings accounts, real estate and life insurance. Some others specialise in particular areas of investment such as investment grade bonds, tax minimisation strategies and international investing. Most financial advisors work with organisations and individuals on a fee basis. Financial advisors can also work independently providing financial advice to corporations on an independent basis.
Financial Advisors can provide sound investment advice to both individual clients and large corporate clients. Advice may be provided concerning the purchase of a property, establishing a retirement strategy, purchasing new financial products such as mutual funds and insurance products as well as general asset allocation and risk management. Overall, financial advisors help individuals make better decisions regarding their overall finances. As most people own a large number of assets, a good advisor can help clients manage these assets effectively in order to meet their goals and objectives. For instance, a client may wish to increase his net worth through investments in property, the purchase of a business or to reduce spending in areas where he spends most of his income. An advisor can help identify areas in which savings could be made in order to reach a particular goal such as obtaining a higher education for himself or her children, or starting a home based business.
Clients can find financial advisors by searching online using Google or other search engines. Businesses can list information about financial advisors as well as contact information such as email address, telephone number, website and a physical office location. Upon choosing an advisor to interview, clients should obtain details such as their area of specialization, years of experience, education and insurance agent license number. Apart from providing advice, financial advisors also offer insurance services such as pension planning and investment advice, as well as general estate planning and custodian assistance. Clients should also inquire whether their advisor is registered as a law professional in his or her state or jurisdiction and whether they are dues-free.
In contrast to a financial advisor, a legal practitioner is someone who has been licensed to practice law, holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, holds multiple portfolios that are managed on his or her behalf and makes regular periodic assessments of his or her performance. Therefore, the fees charged by fiduciaries and financial planners may vary depending on the extent of their services and the complexity of their client’s situation. Some advisors earn fees in the range of five hundred dollars annually while others manage multi-million dollar accounts. Nevertheless, many financial advisors work on a no-investment, no-risk basis, allowing them to charge a much more reasonable fee.