Top 20 reasons to seek professional advice
Author: Sound Choices
July 31, 2017
THE CONTENT IN THE BELOW ARTICLE IS MEANT FOR CANADIAN INVESTORS ONLY
Financial advisors play an important role in your investment future, regardless of where the markets are heading.
Research has continually pointed to the measurable value that financial advisors provide their clients. For example, investors who work with financial advisors accumulate 2.5 to 3 times the wealth of those who do not over a 15-year period.
(Source: CIRANO, The Value of Advice Report 2012)
Here are many of the ways that financial advisors can help you invest better:
1. Start with an investment and retirement plan
Creating an investment and retirement plan is one of the most important things you can do when planning for your future. Your advisor can help create a thorough plan that outlines the necessary steps to ensure you are on track for your retirement.
2. Share saving strategies for future purchases
In order to make large purchases – such as a house, car, cottage or wedding – a reality, saving for them should be coordinated with your broader financial goals. Your advisor can help your prioritize.
3. Save time so you can concentrate on other important decisions in your life
There are better things to do than focus on every aspect of your investments – an advisor can help you navigate through these issues.
4. Stay disciplined with your plan
It can be tempting to deviate from your financial plan when markets become extremely volatile or personal circumstances potentially disrupt your ability to save and invest. Your advisor can instill discipline and confidence so you stay on the right track.
5. Invest your money in a tax-efficient way to help minimize taxes
Without the proper planning, you may not be aware of tax-efficient investment strategies. A financial advisor can help make you minimize or defer taxes so your money can work harder for you.
6. Understand current market events and explain how they may impact you
Economic and geopolitical issues can affect the performance of financial markets, which, in turn, may have an impact your investments. Your advisor can help explain how these issues (if any) effect your portfolio.
7. Position your portfolio when markets change
If markets rise dramatically or if a certain segment of the market significantly weakens, many investors are not sure what to do next or how to adjust their portfolio. Your advisor has the expertise to understand what has taken place, what the outlook is and whether your portfolio needs to be repositioned.
8. Adjust to life events that change your financial circumstances
If you experience a major change in your life such as marriage, a new child or a job loss, your advisor can help adjust your financial plan to accommodate your new circumstances, while making sure you are still working toward your long-term goals.
9. Plan and maintain a budget while considering all the implications
A good budget accounts for your current needs while minimizing unnecessary expenses. It also allocates money for investments that reflect your risk tolerance and time horizon that can help you achieve the growth required to meet your short- and long-term financial needs. Your advisor can create a budget that is realistic, comprehensive, sustainable and flexible enough for your changing circumstances.
10. Refer you to another expert, like a tax planner or an accountant
Your financial advisor may also be able to connect you with other professionals, based on your individual needs.
11. Mitigate risk, even if it means sacrificing some returns
While everyone wants to maximize portfolio returns, your advisor also helps to ensure that you are not taking on too much risk in an effort to achieve those returns. At times your gains may lag the market, but your advisor has your risk tolerance and long-term objectives in mind.
12. Reduce your debts and save for the future
Canadians have taken on a record amount of household debt. Working with your advisor, you can build a plan to reduce it, which can reduce your stress as well.
13. Prepare funds for emergency planning
Although the exact dollar figure will be different for everyone, your advisor can help you build a significant ‘rainy day’ fund, which can give you peace of mind knowing you can weather an unexpected storm.
14. Set up a tax-advantaged plan that ensures your kids have enough savings for their post-secondary education
Tuition costs are on the rise in Canada and planning ahead could eliminate a significant amount of debt for you and your family. Your advisor can help you open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and get you on the right track.
15. Plan for tax-efficient RRIF withdrawals
Keeping as much of your money as possible is important…especially when you’re retired. An advisor can help you manage your retirement income.
16. Effectively consolidate your investments with your spouse
Your advisor can help you understand the benefits of available tax-advantaged strategies, such as Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plans, that could help save you and your family money.
17. Monitor your portfolio and rebalance as necessary
Portfolio allocations shift as markets move. If your portfolio is becoming too risky based on your investor profile or if it is no longer optimized to help you achieve your long-term objectives, your advisor can recommend rebalancing your portfolio so it can continue to meet your needs.
18. Plan ways to start a small business, or even sell it
Have you always dreamed of starting your own business but don’t know where to start? A financial advisor can help guide you through the process.
19. Help you retire when you want to retire
No matter what the news headlines may say about the financial challenges that face Canadians, retirement on your schedule is still possible. A financial advisor can help you make it happen.
20. Plan and administer an estate after the passing of a loved one
Trying to manage estate responsibilities while you are grieving isn’t an easy task, so ask your financial advisor for help.
Although not exhaustive, this list demonstrates the value that a financial advisor can bring.