The financial IQ of the general population is all over the map. There are many resources out there that are available to help people understand the markets, the instruments in the markets, how to access the markets, how to set goals and so on. However, unless you have time on your hands to devote to studying the information in a systematic way, the best most people are able to do is to realize that they need some help to put all the pieces together. That realization, in fact, is a major step forward that not everyone can or is willing to make.
Where to turn for help?
Again, there is no “one size fits all” answer to that question. Financial help can come from a number of sources, however there are two that are the most common: 1. Financial Planners and 2. Financial Advisors. The titles are similar and in some cases they provide the same services, it is important to understand that there are offen differences. People looking for help need to make that they opt for the right help for their situation,
So how are they different?
Someone who is a qualified and licensed Financial Planner will be an expert in developing a personalized financial strategy for you that takes into account your assets, income sources, normal expenses, savings goals, tax situation and many other personal items. The aim of the exercise is to develop a step by step strategy that focuses on savings and investments to reach agreed targets. The professional planner may or may not invest your assets directly, however they should work closely with investment professionals.
Financial Advisor is the current terminology for the professional who is licensed to make investments in the various financial markets. Most people know this professional as “My Broker.” The main focus of this professional is market performance against some agreed upon target. Depending on the background of the advisor, the targets may be more generic depending on broad goals you may have.
Who you start with will depend on your needs and knowledge base.
For more information contact Wolcott Financial Solutions.