Tag Archives: Financial Consultants

Financial Consulting

Financial consulting is one of the most sought after services not only by large corporations, individual clients, but government agencies as well. A financial consultant has the needed expertise, educational background and experience to provide an expert opinion on proposed business plan, complex investment portfolio, taxation, risk assessment, income management, and long-term planning. To become a financial consultant, one must be recognized by the Institute of Financial Consultants. This will only happen if the needed education program and examinations were completed to satisfaction.

Right now, there are two main types of financial consulting; business and personal. In business consulting arrangement, the client will ask for the opinion of the consultant in regards to their specific plan or concept. The role of consultant is to review the said proposed plan. After assessment, he is expected to provide advice on pending government regulations, risk management, long-term viability, and industry trends. In this type of work, consultants must have background related to insurance management, finance, accounting, and business management. It’s also a must that the consultant has at least 10 years of practical experience. Their experience will surely add more perspective and value.

In personal consulting arrangement, individual clients who have significant financial resources are hiring financial consultants that offer services that include taxation planning, long-term planning, income management, and investment advice. A consultant is expected to manage the portfolio in order to obtain maximum benefits without taking huge risks. Financial consultants who focus on serving individual clients are expected to have a background in financial planning and accounting. They must also have at least 5 years personal finance management experience.

People Really Need Financial Consultants

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When we are talking about our own money that we’ve earned with hard work it is up to us to decide on what to do with it. However, most of the people are not financially competent enough and financial consultants are becoming more and more popular as we may get some professional and competent piece of advice from them. Nowadays it would be much better to ask for help if you are not well aware of a certain problem rather than make a mistake.

How to Choose Among the Financial Consultants?

There are quite a lot of things we have to consider before choosing somebody’s services. When talking about a consultation we should first check whether the consultants are certified and qualified enough to advise us. Another think we should check is whether there is any positive or negative feedback for their past work. When we enter the consultant’s office there may or may not be certificates hung on the wall. If there are this means that the financial consultant has attended many additional qualification courses. Finally, the most important thing we should investigate is the years of experience. If the consultant is a newbie, it is less likely that the piece of advice would be good enough.

What Are the Types of Financial Consultants?

As it is with every other profession there are different types of people doing this job. There are two generally recognized types of financial consultants. The first type is the so called ‘risky type’. These consultants would most often advise you to take greater risks but would offer you greater income. The opposite type is the safe type – they would most often advise you to invest in a low-risk company but the eventual income would be much lower too. So, it is up to you to decide which typo to go to and how to make your money work for you.

What is the Best Choice for Us?

There is, however, a third type of financial consultants – they would be neither too risky, nor too safe. They would mostly think of you. Usually the feedback for them is the best because they have a huge success rate and they also offer a balanced income from your investments. That’s probably the best thing one can do because there is very little risk for us to lose our money and it is highly likely that we would probably double them. Unfortunately for us there are very little such financial consultants. That makes them very famous and many people want them for their services. That’s probably why they have the highest prices of all.

Successful in the Field of Financial Consultants

Financial Consultants are one of the fastest growing industries today. More and more people are requiring the services of a finance consultant to get out of debt, and/or prepare for educational and retirement expenses. The knowledge these consultants have creates an income potential for everyone involved.

Becoming a financial consultant takes time and money. It is not a get-rich-quick business, but it does lead to an unlimited income potential. Before you do anything else, you need to decide if you are committed to making the time to become a finance consultant. If you decide you are, then delve deeper and learn more.

Financial consultants are also called investment consultants, because they help you plan financially through investments. The best thing to do when you decide to become an investment consultant is to contact one of the many financial planning organizations such as the Financial Planning Association.

You will need to become a member of many of these financial consultant associations. You are also required to take class and an exam, before you can provide financial consultant services. Each association has its own credentialing system. While it is not necessary to have all the certifications, it is best to have several for professionalism and credibility.

Until you receive certification, you should get the requirements from the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as your State regulatory Authority for financial consultants. It is also required that you register with these agencies as well as the NASD and obtain licenses from them.

Once you are certified and licensed you are ready to open your investment consultant company. However, a few things need to be done before seeking clients. You will need to decide how you will be compensated for your services, and if you will specialize in a type of planning, such as estate planning, or generalize. You will also want to begin networking with other local people in the industry, such as accountants and lawyers.

Financial consultants have four compensation methods to choose from. When deciding on the compensation method for you, decide if you want to obtain more licenses and certifications. In almost any event, you will need to partner with insurance companies and at least on e securities broker/dealer.

You can offer your investment consultant services on a commission-only basis, fee-only basis, fee plus commission basis, or fee-offset basis. Of these three methods, only the fee-only method does not require partnering with insurance companies and securities broker/dealers, or obtaining extra licenses. A fee-only consultant creates a financial plan for the client, but the client is responsible for implementation of the plan. A fee-only consultant usually has a per hour fee or project fee.

Each of these methods of compensation has a good and bad side. You must consider the type of financial consultant business you want, and then choose the method that is appropriate for you. You can always change methods, but that can be tricky.

If you decide to go with on of the methods, other than fee-only, you will need to find your partners. It is best to partner with as many insurance companies and broker/dealers as possible. This will give your better tools and more options to work with for your clients.

While you are talking to companies, you should also talk with lawyers, and accountants in the field. They cannot only refer clients to you, but may be willing to work on projects with you for your clients. This is part of the networking you will need to do to succeed.

You need to invest for insurance for your investment consultant company as well. It protects you and your clients. This is a necessary part of the business. Should the unimaginable happen, you will be protected.

Clients will probably not fall in front of you when you first start. To gain experience and clients, offer your finance consultant services for a small fee, or even free, to friends and family. Ask them if you can use them as references. This will not just help your business, but it may help them too.

Once you have become a financial consultant, you will need to retain your certifications with continuing education in financial planning. Loot at web sites and books, they will keep you informed of industry trends, as will industry magazines. Stay affiliated with organizations at the national, State and local level. Your business is reliant on personal ability and honesty. Stay focused on this and you are bound to succeed.

Everything You Need to Know About Financial Consulting

What is financial consulting? Well, let me start by saying that financial consulting isn’t for everybody. This is a type of service offered by certified financial consultants who have ten to fifteen years of practical experience and who have accounting and financial planning background to individuals, corporations, and government agencies.

Companies or organizations that require expertise in finance, insurance, accounting, and other aspects related to finance usually hire financial consultants. These consultants must be recognized by the Institute of Financial Consultants before they can practice in this field. Before they will be certified, they will need to successfully complete an education program and an examination to make sure that they have up-to-date and in-depth knowledge on latest business practices and theories.

Basically, there are two types of financial consulting: personal and business. Although they deal mostly with finances and investments, the skills required for these two different roles are slightly varied.

Companies hire financial consultants who have in-depth knowledge about insurance, finance, and accounting. Clients usually have specific plan and they just need an opinion from an objective third party. The consultant will be tasked to review and analyze the proposed plan. He will identify its strengths and weaknesses. Later on, the consultant is expected to offer advice on pending government regulations, risk managements, long-term viability, and industry trends.

On the other hand, individuals who have significant financial resources or those who have a complex investment portfolio also hire financial consultants. Some of the services they require are the following; taxation planning, long-term planning, risk assessment, income management, investment advice, etc. The goal here is for the consultant to actively help their individual clients so they can obtain maximum benefits from their financial resources with the lowest amount of risk possible.

Financial consulting is undeniably one of the most lucrative fields in the business world today. If you want to sink your teeth into this endeavor, you better start getting relevant degree and relevant experiences. You will need a minimum of ten years experience in financial planning and personal finance management before you can get started. If you already have enough experience and education, I recommend that you watch financial consultants in action so you can get techniques and strategies as to how you can get started on the right foot. Keep in mind that your goal here is to give your clients with the best and most appropriate suggestions/advices so they’ll be able to grow their financial resources in no time.

Selecting a Financial Consultant

In your efforts to manage your money and plan for financial security, are you sometimes persuaded to buy a product or engage a consultant’s services on the basis of claims such as:

“This is the best financial product in the whole industry.”
“We are the best financial services company.”
“I am the best Financial Consultant in the business.”

Such statements are not uncommon in the financial services industry, so how do you decide who to trust or which financial institution to place your business with? You will be grappling with this issue when you graduate and start planning your finances or perhaps even now as you take stock of your retirement pans.

Let us look at these common statements to get a clearer picture of what is truth or myth:

1. “THIS IS THE BEST FINANCIAL PRODUCT IN THE MARKET”

There is no one-size-fits-all product in the market. What is suitable for one person may be unsuitable for another. A professional Financial Consultant should gather information about your financial needs and status before making any recommendation. You would expect your doctor to prescribe medication only after he has made a diagnosis, so have the same expectations of your financial consultant.

Ask your consultant: “On what basis is this recommendation suitable for me?”

2. “THE MORE AWARDS THE BETTER”

Awards do give an indication on a Financial Consultant’s performance. However, do keep in mind that awards are mainly measured by sales performance. Just as a fast food chain that sells the most burgers may not have the best cooks, a Financial Consultant who has achieved a high sales performance may not necessarily be the most suitable person for you.

Ask your consultant: “How did you qualify for the awards?”

3. “WE ARE THE BEST FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY”

Reputation and branding matter but the key question is how much emphasis you should place on them. Different financial services companies claim to be the best, so which is really the best? Well, they could all be the best and that depends on the basis of your measurement, for example, new business sales or assets under management. Just like a hospital that has the most number of patients does not mean the doctor that you are seeing is the best.

Ask your consultant: “Best in what area?”

4. “WE CAN SOURCE FOR YOU THE BEST PRODUCT FROM DIFFERENT COMPANIES”

That would be possible only if a Financial Consultant can have access to all financial products from all financial institutions and the financial products can be easily compared to one another. Unfortunately, like the theory of perfect competition in Economics, this could prove elusive in the real world. Major financial services companies still use their own pool of Financial Consultants as the only distribution channel for most of their products. In addition, competing financial products usually have different pros and cons. Make sure the financial product recommended is the best suited for you and not the one that is best for the Financial Consultant in terms of remuneration.

Ask your consultant: “How are you remunerated for the different options listed in your recommendations?”

When you come across these statements, make sure you ask the consultant to back them up. A good financial consultant will help you make investment decisions that are appropriate for your needs, and these change according to what stage of your life you are at.