Professional financial advisors help their clients develop long-term plans and investment strategies. They also help clients with financial advice to weather the highs and lows of the stock market and economy. But how do you know when to find your first advisor or move to someone new? Ask questions like, “Am I paying investment fees I don’t understand?” or “Has it been a while since I last reviewed my portfolio with my advisor?” Depending on your answers, it may be time to explore your options. If these situations sound familiar, you may need a fresh financial planning perspective.
You have a big change in your life or finances.
From a marriage, divorce or baby to a raise or inheritance, if something affects your finances, you’ll need more than the basics. For insurance, estate planning, wealth transfer and tax-related issues, you’ll need an advisor with expertise in these areas.
You need help diversifying.
Keeping the right mix of investments (e.g., stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, cash equivalents) can be challenging, especially across multiple accounts. As time passes, you may become unsure whether your investments achieve your goals and match your risk tolerance, so you should discuss strategies and next steps with a professional.
Your accounts are scattered.
Consolidating brokerage accounts makes it easier to keep track of your overall portfolio. You’ll have one website to visit, one password to remember or one call to make for investment management. You can review portfolio performance and plan next steps in one conversation with an investment advisor who gets your whole financial picture.
You’re paying too much in fees.
If you have multiple retirement and investment accounts, you’re probably paying multiple fees for account management, operating expenses, administrative fees and more. An advisor should help bring your accounts together to reduce fees.
You have a 401(k) from a previous job.
It’s easy to forget about money in your old retirement plan when you get a new job. But it’s important to make sure your retirement money stays in your control. Will you keep the money where it is, roll it over to an IRA or your new employer’s plan, or cash out? You should understand what each option means to your finances because wrong moves like taking a lump sum before retirement or not properly rolling over the balance into a qualified retirement account could be costly. A financial advisor you can trust can explain all your options and help you make the best decision about consolidating retirement accounts.
You’re unsure what to do next.
Have multiple goals and priorities? Maybe you’re juggling paying off debt, saving for a down payment on a house or college and investing for retirement. If you’re unsure where to focus or how to accomplish all your goals, you should meet regularly with your advisor to look at your financial picture and adjust as your situation changes.
- Switching financial advisors is easy. You generally need only your most recent statement, so find that and the new advisor can take care of the rest.
- Contact one of our licensed financial advisors with Navy Federal Investment Services for help with life's big decisions.