Financial Consultant: What They Do and Why You Need One

What is a Financial Consultant? First things first: what is a financial consultant? A financial consultant provides personal finance advice and guidance to help individuals meet their goals and overcome obstacles along the way. Think about making investments, saving for college, retirement planning, insurance, and crafting long-term plans.

The difference between financial advisors and financial consultants isn’t the only important aspect to be aware of when you start looking to hire a financial consultant or advisor. Even within the same category, not all financial professionals are made equal!

Financial consultants (and advisors) can have different specializations, meaning they’re better equipped to help with some needs more than others. If you know you need help preparing for retirement, for example, you may be able to find a financial consultant who exclusively helps clients with this.

What Do Financial Consultants Do? It would help if you had a brief understanding of what financial consultants do by now, but you’re probably wondering exactly what to expect from them. When you first arrange to work with a financial consultant, it generally involves at least two appointments: one where the consultant tries to get an overall understanding of your goals, and another where they may begin to offer specific advice.

Tasks financial consultants help with include: – Analyzing your personal assets and liabilities – Buying and selling investments – Giving recommendations on insurance policies – Making plans to help you reach specific financial goals – Creating budgets – Liaising with other financial professionals

How Can Financial Consultants Help You? Still not sure whether hiring a financial consultant is the right move for you? Don’t let your uncertainty risk keeping you from getting the guidance you deserve. There’s never a bad time to start taking your finances seriously, so even a free introductory call with a financial consultant may be well worth your time.

How to Find a Financial Consultant A great place to start is, a website dedicated to helping people find the right financial professionals and resources for their individual needs. You’ll find directories for financial advisors and coaches, plus hundreds of personal finance blogs and podcasts worth exploring.

Online vs. in-Person When it comes to making such huge decisions about their finances, most people would prefer to meet someone in person to advise them. This is a great way to develop a relationship and build trust.

Financial Coaches Especially if your focus is on getting out of debt or building an emergency fund, a financial coach is likely a better financial professional for you than a financial consultant or advisor. A financial coach will focus on your day-to-day money habits like budgeting, debt, and saving to help you identify which habits need to change to reach your bigger goals, then supports you while you work toward that change.

Robo-Advisors If your budget is limited, a final option you might want to consider is using a robo-advisor: an automated tool that offers investment and financial advice, usually via an app or online platform. For instance, Betterment is a dedicated platform for retirement help, and even Vanguard has its own Digital Advisor feature.

Get the Help You Need If you’re not used to paying for financial services, the idea of spending money to hire a financial consultant might seem indulgent. Maybe you feel guilty about it.

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