From the moment you start planning for retirement to the point where your assets are organized, your income needs met, and your accumulation and legacy plans in place, working with a professional that you trust can make all the difference in how well your retirement reflects your desires. There are many people that would love to handle your money, but not everyone is qualified to handle it in a way that leads to a holistic approach to creating a solid retirement plan.
Look for independence. Professionals who can only offer one type, or one company’s solution, cannot provide the kind of diversification that will protect and enhance your retirement plan. Professionals held only to a suitability standard can recommend products that are in their best interests, as long as they are suitable for you. You will want to look for a professional who held to a fiduciary standard, meaning that person is legally bound to work solely in your best interests. There are many excellent financial professionals out there, but remember that most importantly, this has to be the best person for you.
The basic kinds of financial professionals.
Agents. Insurance agents work on behalf of their affiliated insurance carrier and are paid by commissions on product sales. Some can be independent and offer products from several different companies, but still are limited to only one or two types of tools in their financial toolbox. They are held to suitability standards, not fiduciary standards.
Registered Representatives. They are better known as stockbrokers or bank / investment representatives, and make their living by earning commissions on insurance products and investment services. If you want to make a simple transaction, such as buying a particular stock, a registered representative can help you. If you want to create a structured and planful approach to position your assets for retirement, you might want to look further.
Investment Advisor Representatives. Registered Investment Advisors are compensated on a fee basis. They are financial fiduciaries, meaning they are required to make financial decisions and recommendations that are in your best interest and reflecting your risk tolerance. Investment Advisors are held to high ethical standards and are highly regarded in the financial industry. Many times they will have additional licenses as both insurance agents and stockbrokers allowing them to earn commissions on certain transactions. This gives them a toolbox full of financial tools with which to build your retirement house. They are not focused on individual stocks, mutual funds, investments, or markets. They are focused on you, to coordinate your assets in order to meet your goals or retirement and legacy planning.
Schedule an appointment with one of our Investment Advisor Representatives to get a second opinion on your current strategies.
Retirement is too important for guesswork.