It is an often-asked question: “Do I really need an investment advisor?”
Today, there are more options for managing one’s own portfolio than ever before, so does an investment advisor (aka a financial advisor) still make sense and provide value? Or is the role a relic of the past? While those with straightforward finances might be able to handle DIY investing, in general, the more complex your finances, the more likely you are to benefit from an investment advisor. These advisors can offer a valuable outside perspective on how and where you should invest your money and help guide you through life changes with significant financial implications, such as marriage, divorce, or an inheritance.
Let’s look at ways an investment advisor can help you build a successful portfolio.
Trust the professionals
Pro athletes have trainers and coaches. Mountain climbers on Everest trust their Sherpas. CEOs and entrepreneurs rely on trusted advisors. You can think of an investment advisor as your coach or guide for your financial journey. In the same way you’d get a trainer at the gym or a contractor to build your deck, going to the professionals helps ensure the job gets done right and your needs are met. After all, this is your savings and investing for the future—you need to do it right.
Peace of mind with an investment advisor
Money is one thing that most people stress about occasionally (and sometimes a great deal more often). When it comes to our portfolio, if we’re DIY investing, it can be tempting to beat ourselves over how much we’ve spent or financial mistakes we’ve made. And there’s also the question of time involved with DIY investing. With everything else going on in your life, do you really have the time to focus on effectively managing your portfolio? Do-it-yourself can easily mean no-one-does-it.
Making the right financial decisions takes time, skill, and effort. The peace of mind you get in knowing your investment advisor is keeping a close eye on your portfolio when you can’t means you can focus on the other parts of your life. And, what’s more, investors who work with a financial advisor feel more secure in retirement. Research shows that people with a financial plan feel better prepared to meet financial goals, are more confident about their finances, and build more wealth than those without a plan.
Understanding the ins and outs of investing (and finances in general) can be difficult. Having a third party to talk financial goals helps you achieve what you’re after.
Payless in taxes
Another benefit of an effective financial and investment plan is the potential to lower the amount of taxes you are required to pay. While you can’t control how your investments perform, you can maximize your investing performance with the help of an investment advisor. One study found that working with an investment advisor will earn you up to three percentage points more on your investments than a DIY approach. Over time, three percentage points add up and can impact the amount of taxes owed.
That’s why it’s essential to work with your investment advisor and other financial professionals, like your accountant, to ensure your investments are structured in the most tax-advantaged way. They can help you use tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), proper asset locations, recognizing tax gains at the right time, and effective estate tax planning, amongst other solutions.
The personal connection
While there are a plethora of robo-advisors and online financial planning services, there’s something to be said for the human touch. Over time, many clients and investment advisors develop a close relationship. Your advisor is someone who shares in many of the significant financial decisions of your life. They might also gain insight into your children’s finances, and perhaps other relatives, like your parents. These are often personal details we don’t even tell close friends.
And having an investment advisor means having someone who can answer all your questions instead of you having to rely on a website’s FAQ. They can walk you through trends and patterns in the market, helping you decide which is right for you. Whether your questions are broad or specific, your most pressing financial issues will never go unanswered.
Having a real, human connection to deal with when planning something as personal and important as your finances and investments is amongst the soundest financial moves you can make. Hopefully, you can see the advantages of considering using an investment advisor over attempting to do DIY investing.
For more blogs like this, insight on investing and investment products, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.