Seeking Professional Financial Help

When financial trouble is too much of a burden on your own, depression and negativity sets in. If you allow yourself to be a victim of your own financial problem, you lose!

It’s not too bad to seek for a professional help when you, and the people around you can no longer take the brunt out of your shoulders.

Choosing to use a professional financial planner depends on your particular circumstances. If you have the time and interest to conduct your own research – and a reasonable understanding of financial markets and products – you may choose to manage your finances on your own.

If you have more complicated financial affairs, or a particular significant financial decision, you may choose to work with a financial adviser to explain the options and present a selection of financial products that match your needs. Investment management and decisions involve many professional skills and considerations.

Choosing a financial adviser or financial planner

Approach a professional help from a licensed, qualified and experienced financial adviser/financial planner.

Make sure to check the following when you look for a financial adviser or planner:

> They must know your personal circumstances including investment objectives, investment horizon, knowledge and experience (including knowledge of derivatives), financial situation and risk tolerance (including risk of loss of capital), and carefully evaluate your risk profile before making any strategies or financial product recommendations to you.

> They should give proper explanations of why recommended products are suitable for you and the nature and extent of risks the investment product bears; should also document and provide you with a copy of the rationale underlying the investment recommendations made.

> In providing services involving derivative products, they must assure that you understand the nature and risks of recommended products and that you have sufficient net worth to be able to assume the risks and bear the potential losses of trading in the products.

> When selecting a financial adviser or planner, there are several basic questions you should ask to assess his/her suitability for planning your life goals.

  • What experience and qualification does the planner have?
  • What service does the planner offer?
  • What is the planner’s approach to financial planning?
  • Will the planner be the only person working with you?
  • In what way will the planner be remunerated and much does the planner typically charge?
  • Could the planner’s recommendation unduly benefit anyone else?
  • Has the planner ever been publicly disciplined for unlawful or unethical actions in his/her professional career?
  • Can our agreement be put in writing?

Even when you are relying on the financial advice from professionals, it is your responsibility to exercise vigilance and due diligence when choosing investment products.

To assist the financial adviser or planner to better understand your situation and recommend advice that best suits you, provide the adviser or planner with the correct and relevant information. Ask questions until you understand the rationale behind the advice. Don’t invest in products you don’t understand. Remember, think twice before committing.

Author: Michael Welter

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