Some quick tips:
- Look for a personal financial analyst who is recognized with certification as a financial planner or CFP – Certified Financial Planner.
- Consider the pay structure of the consultants. Rather than a flat fee, professional analysts earn in the commission or as an hourly rate.
- Carefully go through the code of ethics which a financial analyst adheres to and ensure they can look after things in your best interests.
A Personal financial analyst is a professional who can effectively help individuals and businessmen to organize their finances and project the results of their disciplined financial habits, proper use of credit, and investments and savings over time. They ideally help people to make the most appropriate financial decisions which will help one to meet the financial goals efficiently.
Usually, the terms “financial analyst’, “financial planner,” as well as “financial advisor” are used interchangeably. However, not all financial advisors are financial analysts. The level of their knowledge, education, and professional training may differ, and experience too plays a vital role while choosing an appropriate financial analyst for your purpose. Some of the analysts may work as independent consultants whereas some others may part of a government or private institution. In any case, an experienced financial analyst will help improve your overall financial health.
Getting the professional help of financial analysts
If you are planning to hire a financial analyst professional to meet your financial goals or help you get rid of your troublesome credit situation, one needs to be very careful and knowledgeable to make this selection well. Hiring the right financial analyst starts by understanding what financial planning is and what to expect from a professional who aids in it.
The concept of financial planning
Financial planning refers to defining practices to meet your financial goals by knowing how you need to use your money appropriately and for what and when. It is to delineate what you will use it for on the basis of a long-term plan with specific steps which will ultimately lead to achieving your set goals.
To get good advice, the financial analysts must first consider all the personal financial data of their clients and then make a comprehensive plan. They may create a projection with this data and then make necessary adjustments to sync it with the actual financial goals. These financial projections are made based on the realistic assumptions of investment returns, inflation, financial circumstances, and how much one earns and spends.
If you are consulting a financial planner and you ultimately find that they are talking about certain investment products instead of gathering data about your financial performance and goals, then you are probably talking to a sales person, and not an analyst.
What is the role of a good financial analyst?
A good financial analyst or financial planner may advise on the following matters:
- What is your current financial status and where it will take you to?
- What corrections or adjustments you need to do in order to get your finances in track?
- How should you plan your investments or savings?
- What types of retirement accounts may be ideal as to IRA, Roth, 401(k), etc.?
- What mortgages may you try?
- What sort of insurances may you need including life insurance, health insurance, disability, etc?
- How much you have to keep in the emergency fund and for what all purposes?
- What changes in your savings may help to improve the tax situation?
- What returns you may earn to meet your financial goals in the set time frame?
- What degree of investment risk may be appropriate based on your financial goals for accounts you hold?
In addition to the above, financial analysts may also offer estate planning and advice on tax planning too. Some specialized financial analysts can assess your credit situation too and give proper guidance to repair it. While hiring a financial planner or analyst, always ask them above their specialty areas and find if its matches to your requirement in hand. Getting their recommendations in writing is also ideal as it will leave no further question on what best course of action is recommended. For more information, get in touch with PFA.
Remember, a good financial analyst may not make their recommendations until they fully understand your financial situation and goals for a long-term financial plan for you. As discussed above, if you meet someone who starts to talk about financial products right away, even when the claim themselves to be a financial analyst, maybe a typical salesperson. A financial analyst mostly talks on the basis of facts, data, and states on various aspects of your financial life.
Is it necessary for you to use a financial analyst?
You can surely do it alone when the need is to manage your own money. However, you may also do the same for repairing of your vehicle too. In both these areas, doing it successfully will depend on your knowledge and skills. Mastering management of personal finances requires many hours of keen research and learning. However, for most out there, it is a specialty which is not fairly understandable or interesting.
As you get busier and older, of course with more wealthy, your financial goals and money management become a bit more complicated, at which point a financial analyst may save your time and do the task effectively on your behalf. A good financial analyst with the help you to plan well and remain well disciplined about your money matters.
The final thing to consider is the pay structure of the financial analyst. You may avoid commission-based advisors. If you are a beginner and don’t have a trove of assets to manage, then a planner charging hourly may be the best bet. Typically, the consultant financial planners are right to take care of your finances on the basis of your recommendations for personal finance or to grow your business to meet specific financial milestones. Keep the term ‘fiduciary’ in mind, which means the planner pledges to act in your best interest all the times.