Everybody wants to be rich, or at least well off. But one thing most people don’t realize is that while having a lot of money does mean a lot more opportunities and choices, it also means more work. Taking care of your money is an important aspect of having money. Many people don’t understand that. In order to protect, and grow, your assets, no matter how much money you have, you will need to find someone who is qualified to provide independant financial advice.
That doesn’t mean that you hand it all over to them and walk away, you need to always be in the loop when it comes to your money.
Most people won’t have the time, or inclination, to learn all they need to know about investing their money. There are so many different ways you can go: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. that the average person can’t possibly be expected to keep it all straight. That’s where a professional will come in to play.
One of the first things you can do to find a professional to help you with your money is to ask your friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. Ask the people you trust, who they trust with their money.
Next you can always contact your local SCORE office. SCORE is an organization that brings retired business people together to help entrepreneurs start their own business. There would probably be many members who could point you in the direction of a qualified professional.
You could also go online to find someone. This option probably isn’t the best choice for most people. Even though you hire someone, you are only hiring them to help you, not to do it all for you. It’s important that you are very involved in every aspect of your finances and for that reason hiring someone online, who doesn’t live or work in your area, may not be the best option.
Before you hire someone you also want to find out whether they are independent or ‘tied’. A tied agent is someone who works for a specific company. They can only sell products and services from that one company. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but you just have to always remember that no tied agent is going to be unbiased. They can only sell the products of one company, even if that company doesn’t really have a product that would work well for you they might be inclined to try to sell it to you anyway since they want to make a commission.
An independent agent can sell products from multiple companies, which on the surface may make it seem like that would be the better option for you. Not necessarily. Chances are some of the companies will offer higher commissions than others. Your advisor may try to push you into a product based on how much they’ll make and not which one is the best one for you and your goals.
At this point you may be totally confused, don’t be. The most important thing you can do is to be an active participant in not only choosing your advisor but also when working with your advisor. Don’t ever make the mistake of just handing everything over to them and only communicating with them a few times a year. It’s your money and you have the right, and the obligation, to keep tabs on how your money is doing. Make sure whatever independant financial advice you get that the advisor is not only qualified and trustworthy but that it’s also someone you feel comfortable working closely with.