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Investment Advisor – How to Hire? A Complete Guide

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The lack of financial literacy remains a big problem in India, which causes many people to face difficulties in effectively managing their finances. A common misconception that is prevalent among Indians is the belief that financial advisors are exclusively reserved for the wealthy elite. Spoiler alert: that’s far from the truth. These professionals can guide anyone who’s serious about making informed decisions about their money and investments. When it comes to investing, the size of the bank account does not matter much. What matters is starting this journey as early as possible, and making regular contributions to steadily build an investment portfolio. 

A lot of people simply stash their cash in a savings account, thinking they’re playing it safe. Little do they know that inflation is silently eating into the value of their hard-earned money. Investing is what can help them beat inflation and create long-term wealth, but sifting through the many investment options available can be overwhelming. Take the mutual funds industry for example. 

In India, there are over 40 asset management companies, and each AMC has numerous schemes. Choosing the right one can be a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This is why Investment planning is important, and to do it right, investors, especially beginners, should always seek professional guidance.

In this blog, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should Hire an Investment Advisor and the steps you can take to find the one that matches your dreams.

Importance of Hiring an Investment Advisor

Here are some of the many ways an Investment Advisor can prove a powerful ally on your financial journey.

  • An investment advisor can help you with your financial goal planning. They can help you set SMART goals. SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. A common mistake people make when setting financial goals is that they set vague goals. They don’t clearly define a goal that is measurable and time-bound. Another mistake is setting unrealistic goals. It’s easy to get carried away and be too ambitious. This can be dangerous as unrealised goals lead to disappointment and frustration. 
  • Professionals bring years of experience to the table. These experts manage large capital daily to help their many clients achieve their dreams. They have in-depth knowledge about the world of finance, so they also keep you informed.
  • As stated before there are many, many investment options for retail investors in India, and one may suffer decision paralysis. An investment advisor can sift through the options and present you with the ones most suited to you.
  • Managing investments can be time-consuming and demands effort. An investment advisor can help you save valuable time and energy so you can focus on the matters that demand your attention. 
  • Managing finances can also be stressful. Thankfully, investment planners are like financial stress-busters. They can shoulder the burden so you can savour life without having to constantly worry about your money.
  • They can help you explore investment options that grow your wealth while also reducing your tax liabilities.
  • Investing demands discipline. If you have an SIP, ideally you would want to make regular contributions without missing any. Sometimes however things are not in our hands.  Unforeseen situations such as a loss of employment or a big medical bill can disrupt your investment progress if you are not prepared. An investment planner ensures that you have ample protection – this includes a sufficient emergency fund and comprehensive insurance coverage, so you can financially prepare for the unexpected and keep your investments safe. 
  • Investing can be risky, but an investment planner can expertly balance risk and return by helping you build a diversified portfolio.
  • Sometimes investors fall into the trap of getting swayed by the successful ventures of friends and relatives and invest in the same instruments they do. This can be a big mistake because everyone’s financial situation is different. An investment advisor can assess any such venture you have in mind and tell you whether or not it would suit you.
  • Economic conditions are always evolving. Investing isn’t a one-and-done thing, it’s a continuous process that requires adaptability. A professional always stays on top of the happenings of the financial world, so he or she can make adjustments to your portfolio whenever necessary.
  • A certified financial advisor can help you assess your current financial situation, and based on it craft a personalised financial plan that aligns with your risk appetite, time horizon, and financial goals.

These benefits highlight why investors should Hire Investment Advisor before beginning their investment journey.

Steps to Hire Investment Advisor

Step 1: Define Your Financial Goals

People invest for various reasons – perhaps you’re investing to buy your dream home, fund your child’s education, secure a peaceful retirement plan, grow your business, or just build wealth. Maybe you’re confused due to the sheer abundance of options, or maybe you’re looking for the best investment options to minimise your tax liabilities. Basically, you have to ask yourself why you want guidance from an investment advisor. What is it that you want your advisor to do for you? Clearly define your financial goals.

Also Read: Best Investment Plan for Buying House

Step 2: Research Potential Advisors 

Start looking for reputable investment advisors online or in your area. There are many organisations that use a virtual advisory model, which means that consultation and financial planning are done online through digital platforms. This offers clients a big advantage, as it frees them from the constraint of being limited to local investment advisors. You can book an online meeting with Fincart today.

If you know anyone personally who has used the services of a particular advisor you have in mind make sure to ask them about their experience. Look at the reviews and client testimonials to gain an idea about the individual or organisation’s practices. 

Step 3: Check Credentials and Experience

This is perhaps the most important step in your quest to find your perfect investment advisor. We get to enjoy a lot of convenience in this digital age, but unfortunately one can also fall prey to cyber frauds. You have to do your due diligence and verify the credentials and experience of the advisors you have shortlisted. 

You can do this by checking the relevant certifications and registrations. To start, your investment advisor should be registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). If they are distributing mutual funds, check if they are registered with the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). You can also look for certifications such as the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) certification. Even though CFP isn’t mandatory, it can certainly add to the reputation of your advisor.  

Remember, you are entrusting your financial health and security to another person or organisation. Make sure you do your homework.

Step 4: Schedule Consultations

It’s time to fix up the meeting. When you’re meeting up with the advisors online or in person, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you should tell them what your financial goals are. They will ask you about your current financial situation which includes your income, expenses, savings, assets, and liabilities, so it’s important for you to have that knowledge. Next, they’ll want to know about the level of risk you’re willing to take on, and based on all these factors they’ll suggest investment options. When you are talking to the advisor, notice how they communicate and how transparent they are about the strategies they suggest. As we said before, investing is a continuous process. Your first meeting is just the beginning of the relationship, so analyse their personality and determine if they will be a good fit for you in the long term.

Step 5: Evaluate Proposals and Fees

When consulting with potential advisors, make sure you fully understand their fees and structures. If you’re just looking for advice, some advisors may charge a one-time fee. Others might charge a percentage based on the total assets they will be managing for you or go for a commission. Some advisors also offer free consultations. You can book a free consultation call with Fincart today, and our expert advisors can help you choose the best investment opportunities that align with your financial goals. 

Different advisors have different payment structures as well. Some might ask for a lump sum upfront and some may charge a regular fee. Take some time to review and compare proposals from different advisors to find the best fit for you.

Step 6: Make the Final Decision

After all that, it is time to seal the deal. Make sure that the advisor you choose aligns with your financial goals and fits your budget. Look for a reputable, experienced, and certified professional who excels in communication, values transparency, and holds registration with regulators like SEBI. Make your final decision, and get started on your investment journey!

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Conclusion:

Sometimes people shy away from hiring investment advisors, thinking they can manage investments directly. While you can manage your investments on your own, it’s important to understand that these professionals handle large sums for many clients, daily. They are always up to date about the changes in the financial world. They know the risks and they are great at identifying opportunities that might slip by regular investors. Having an experienced investment advisor can make a big difference—they know their stuff. While you might get a 10% return on your own, with an advisor, you could earn an extra 2-3%, and that’s after all expenses. So take advantage of their expertise and get started on your Investment planning today!