The Importance of Having a Financial Advisor
Some studies indicate that people with financial advisors experience higher portfolio gains, anywhere from 1.5% to 4% higher, according to Fidelity. But even if you could navigate the market like a pro all by yourself, should you? Here are the top reasons you should hire a financial advisor.
To act as a coach to keep you motivated
Billionaires don’t go it alone. They also have financial advisors—in fact, they have teams of them. Similarly, Olympic athletes don’t work out all by themselves in order to achieve their best performances—they hire coaches for a reason.
Athletic coaches specialize in helping people win at their sport, taking them from where their performance is at today to the highest level of peak performance possible in the future. Step by step, day after day, coaches work to keep people motivated to achieve more.
As a coach, a financial advisor’s role is to ensure you tirelessly work towards your goals, keeping an eye on your investment regime, carefully monitoring your progress and making changes when necessary. A ﬁnancial advisor provides guidance on how, where and when to invest—from creating a financial plan, to designing your portfolio, to choosing ﬁnancial instruments, to reviewing with you, to taking corrective measures if needed.
No good coach treats every athlete the same—they understand the physical and psychological parameters of the person they are coaching. Good financial advisors treat their clients as individuals, too. They tailor their approach to your situation, your goals and your dreams, helping you set and achieve your own personal short- and long-term financial milestones.
To help you with tax planning
At the end of the day, earning more doesn’t you help as much as keeping more. Market gains or losses can create tax planning opportunities, such as the potential for tax-loss harvesting to help lower capital gains taxes, or direct charitable donations to avoid them. Your financial advisor can help you look at tax planning possibilities on a yearly basis.
Thinking about your entire financial picture with the goal of lowering taxes can net you a lot more financially, particularly when it comes to retirement. For instance, many people think they have saved a lot of money in their traditional retirement accounts like 401(k)s, not really aware of the fact that they haven’t yet paid any income taxes on that money.
Depending on the tax bracket you will be in when you pull money out, you could have 20% less, or even 40% less if brackets return to pre-2017 levels after 2025 as they are set to do. There are specific steps you can take when you are five to 10 years away from retirement which may lower your tax burden and leave you more money to spend. A financial advisor can help you do this.
But tax planning doesn’t stop there. A financial advisor will also help you find tax-advantaged ways to transfer wealth to the next generation in conjunction with your CPA, tax professional and estate attorney.
To see you through market volatility
According to Dalbar, the average investor on their own has historically underperformed compared to market averages, largely due to mistakes and overreactions made during volatile markets. A financial advisor can help you stay the course, providing the guidance and encouragement you may need to stay on track—or know when and how to make the portfolio adjustments necessary to truly take advantage of market and economic conditions so that you maximize your potential performance.