4 Ways to Best Utilize Your Financial Advisor

What is the value of a financial advisor? The personal touch. Here are four stories of how flesh-and-blood advisors you meet in person (that’s opposed to a robo advisor, where your contact is digital or over a phone line) benefited their clients. These good advisors helped clients to overcome emotionally based decisions, stop them from making mistakes, figure out whether to make a big purchase and decipher arcane retirement plans. We’ll have separate articles throughout the summer describing in greater detail how they helped their clients. Planning is so very vital for your future. According to a study by insurer Northwestern Mutual, a large majority (72%) of U.S. adults believes that the economy will suffer future crises. But two-thirds of them don’t have a financial plan. Plans are not static. Once you have a plan in hand, ongoing contact with your advisor is vital to make the plan work. In …

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Things All Financial Advisors Should Keep In Mind

Money management can seem pretty straightforward — customers set goals, and financial advisors help them meet those goals. But things aren’t always so simple. Emotions, family situations and the client’s financial standing can pose challenges for financial advisors if they’re not prepared. “Every individual is unique, and makes decisions about investing and wealth management influenced by their emotional makeup,” says wealth management adviser Chris White. “Financial advisors need to understand the emotional factors that drive their clients’ behavior, and their attitudes about risk-taking and money management. If they do, they will be better able to fashion wealth management plans that are suited to an individual client’s personality, temperament and risk-tolerance.” Here are some things to keep in mind. Plan for a Solo Life, as Well as Marriage Married couples who start financial planning generally don’t give any consideration to the chance of divorce, even as a remote contingency, says registered …

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Don’t Miss These Year-End Retirement-Planning Deadlines

It’s not too late to ensure that your retirement planning is on track to maximize tax savings before the end of 2017. Understanding end-of-year deadlines can help you maximize your tax savings as well as prepare for another year of saving. “Tax planning should really start in January, not in November or December,” says Randall Luebke, a financial planner at Lifetime Paradigm. “That said, if you do wait, be sure to do everything you can to reduce the taxes you pay.” Now is the time to accelerate your tax-deductible expenses and put off receiving taxable income. Here are some tips. Consider Roth Accounts If you’ve been thinking about converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, it’s a good time to make a decision and act because you must file forms by the end of the year. With Dec. 31 falling on a Sunday in 2017, experts recommend aiming for …

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New Industry Tools That Could Change the Way You Do Business

Times have changed for financial advisors. The advent of new technology has made it possible for independent advisors and smaller houses to compete with larger firms, and for larger firms to have a global reach. Keeping up with that technology can be a challenge — but it’s vital for any financial advisor who wants to stay competitive. Today’s clients want savvy, responsive financial advisors who are comfortable with technology. Fortunately, new industry tools are easy to use and integrate to provide top-level customer service and performance. “You don’t have a shot if you’re not organized,” says Jason Lara, director of sales and strategy at Ebix. Here are some new industry tools that can change the way you do business. Client Management Being able to manage your clients through scheduling and CRM platforms, as well as provide them excellent advice through market research tools, are among the biggest benefits of using …

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5 Things All Employees Need to Understand About Benefits

Keeping track of what your company’s employee benefits cover and how they can work for you can be a challenge, but it is vitally important. Your employer provides benefits as part of your compensation, and if you’re not taking advantage of them, you can miss out on some important savings and coverage. Here are five things all employees need to understand about their benefits. 1. Your Health Insurance Costs You need to understand what your health insurance costs are, including how much of the premium you pay each month, any co-pay and the annual deductible, says PJ Wallin, CPA and CFP at W Financial. “Employees should know what their benefit options are, as well as for their family and who pays the costs for each. Many employers may cover a larger portion of an individual, but then subsidize less of their family.” If your employer offers a choice of different …

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