Make the Most of Working With a Financial Professional

Are you unsure if you’re on the right track with your savings and investments? Are you finding yourself with new responsibilities, such as the care of a child or an aging parent, or facing other life events like marriage, divorce, the sale of a family business or a career change? These are only some of the many circumstances that prompt people to contact a professional who can help them address their financial questions and issues.

Why work with a financial professional?

  • A financial professional can apply his or her skills and knowledge to your specific needs. Just as important, he or she can help answer your questions. When the financial markets go through a downturn, having someone you can turn to may help you make sense of it all.
  • If you don’t feel confident about your knowledge of investing or specific financial products and services, having a professional who monitors the financial markets every day can be helpful. After all, if you hire people to do things like cut your hair, work on your car and tend to medical issues, it might just make sense to get help dealing with important financial matters.
  • Even if you have the knowledge and ability to manage your finances, the financial world grows more intricate every day as new products and services are introduced. Also, legislative changes can have a substantial impact on your investment and tax planning strategy. A professional can monitor such developments on an ongoing basis and assess how they might affect your portfolio.
  • A financial professional may be able to help you see the big picture and make sure the various aspects of your financial life are integrated in a way that makes sense for you. That can be especially important if you own your own business or have complex taxes.
  • If you already have a financial plan, a financial professional can act as a sounding board, giving you a reality check to make sure your assumptions and expectations are realistic. For example, maybe you’ve been investing far more conservatively than you need to for your goals and circumstances — either out of fear of making a mistake or from being unaware of how risks can be managed. A financial professional can help you assess how to adjust your portfolio to help you reach your goals.

When should you consult a professional?

You don’t have to wait until an event occurs to consult a financial professional. Having someone help you develop an overall strategy for approaching your financial goals can be useful at any time. However, in some cases, a specific life event or perceived need can catalyze seeking advice. Such circumstances might include:

  • Marriage, divorce, or the death of a spouse
  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Planning for a child’s or grandchild’s college education
  • Buying or selling a family business
  • Changing jobs or careers
  • Planning your retirement
  • Developing an estate plan
  • Receiving an inheritance or financial windfall

Making the most of a professional’s expertise

  • Compensation — You’ll need to understand how a financial professional is compensated for his or her services. Some receive a fee based on an hourly rate (usually for specific assistance or a financial plan), or on a percentage of your portfolio’s assets or income. Some receive a commission from a third party for any products you may purchase. Others may receive some combination of fees and commissions, while others may receive a salary from their financial services employer. Don’t be reluctant to ask about fees; any reputable financial professional shouldn’t hesitate to explain how he or she is compensated. 
  • Ask questions — Even if you’re a relative novice when it comes to finances, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand what’s being presented to you. You’re not rude; you’re merely trying to prevent misunderstandings that could backfire later.
  • Take control — Don’t let yourself be pressured into making a financial decision you’re not comfortable with or don’t understand. This is your money, and you have the right to take whatever time you need. However, give yourself a deadline for your decision, so you don’t get caught in “analysis paralysis.”
  • Goals and needs — If you think your financial life needs a checkup rather than a complete overhaul, you’ll need to clarify the areas in which you’re looking for assistance. That can help you decide what type of assistance you’d like to get from your financial professional, though you should also pay attention to any additional suggestions raised during your discussions. Your plans should take into consideration your financial goals, your time horizon for achieving each one, your current financial and emotional ability to tolerate risk, and any recent changes in your circumstances.

If you feel that consulting a financial professional might be helpful, please contact one of our CFS* Wealth Management Advisors today by calling 303.443.4672 x2240 to set up a no-obligation appointment. The sooner you get your questions answered, the sooner you’ll be able to pay more attention to the things — family, friends, career, hobbies — that an organized financial life could help you enjoy.

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Elevations Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2020.Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available.

Author John Marx

John has been in the financial services industry since 1986 and is currently Elevations VP of Wealth Management, in addition to being a registered Financial Advisor through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. He shares helpful tips on investments, insurance and money management.

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