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.1
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 have enough money 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 investment decisions in your life
There are better things to do than worry about every aspect of your investments – a financial advisor can help you handle the complicated 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 be paying too much in taxes. A financial advisor can help make sure your money stays invested and growing.
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 impact your investments (positively or negatively). Your advisor will help you make sense of world events and their effect on your portfolio, so you can keep market movements in perspective.
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 may need to adjust your financial plan to accommodate your new financial 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
You deserve to work with best-in-class professionals – and your financial advisor can recommend an expert to address your 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 an 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 dreamt 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 clearly demonstrates the value that a financial advisor brings.
To learn more about the value of financial advice, visit AGF.com/ValueOfAdvice.
1 Source: CIRANO, The Value of Advice Report 2012
The contents of this Web site are provided for informational and educational purposes, and are not intended to provide specific individual advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax. Please consult with your own professional advisor on your particular circumstances.