If you're like many people, you probably think of financial professionals as the guys with gray hair and expensive suits who work at big banks or investment firms somewhere in New York. But did you know that there are also many independent financial professionals who work locally, right in your hometown? And that working with a local advisor can be a great way to get personalized advice and save money?
A financial professional is a professional consultant that helps consumers manage their money. The consumer pays the advisor, and they assist with a variety of tasks related to money. For example, they may help manage investments, purchase/sell stocks and funds, and help create estate and tax plans.
The term "financial professional" is an umbrella term that includes insurance agents, estate planners, stockbrokers, bankers, money managers, and more. The financial professional works for the client to ensure that their funds are properly managed.
Today we're taking a closer look at how a local financial professional can help you make the most of your money and plan for a bright future.
Why Choose a Local Financial Professional Over an Online Service or Chain
There are many benefits of doing your financial planning in your hometown with a localfinancial professional instead of using an online platform or going through a national chain. Not everyone wants to work with a national chain for their financial services, and with good reason. Oftentimes, the advisor you speak to over the phone at the big firms is simply a middleman between you and the people who are actually working on your account.
Many people feel more comfortable working with someone who they can meet face to face and that they can get to know on a personal level. For example, regardless of the financial planning strategies, you’re considering, working with a local financial professional gives you the opportunity to see all of your options in person. You’ll be able to discuss them together and come up with the best plan for your situation.
In general, working with someone local offers you an unparalleled level of personalized service that the big national firms simply can’t provide. But don’t be fooled – local financial professionals like the team at Benefits & Financial Strategies are well equipped to help you with all aspects of financial planning. Read on to take a closer look at what a local advisor can do for you.
5 Ways a Financial Professional Helps You Plan for Your Futures
A financial professional will partner with you to help you with your financial planning. For example, if you want to retire in 20 years or send your child to college in 10, you may need a professional to help make this a reality.
You and your financial professional will work together on a variety of factors, including how much money you need to save, the types of accounts you need, the types of insurance coverage you need, and estate/tax planning, among others.
Financial professionals also act as educators to help you understand what you need to do to meet your future goals. This will likely include detailed assistance with various financial topics. In the beginning, some of those topics may include budgeting and saving. Then, as time goes on, your financial professional may help you understand more complex matters, such as taxes, insurance, and investments.
There are five significant ways that a financial professional helps you plan your future. We will discuss each of these below:
- Banking/cash management
- Employment benefits
Let's dive into each of these important topics to see how a local financial professional can help you leverage them as part of your financial plan.
The first thing we're going to look at is how financial professionals help with investment strategies. When it comes to investing, a financial professional is responsible for performing an analysis of many factors, such as the current market, economic trends, and choosing the best investments for their clients. Your financial professional's investment strategies may include a variety of options such as stocks, mutual funds, property investments, and others.
Local financial professionals have an advantage over the big, national chains, however. They know the community and what's going on in your region. As such, they can give you better advice about building and managing your portfolio based on what's happening in the community, and the probable economic future of your immediate area.
Local or national, nearly all financial professionals begin this process by determining a client's risk tolerance -- in other words, how they will react if the investment portfolio value drops -- as well as their risk capacity. Risk capacity refers to the client's ability to weather financial storms.
The two of these together determine how much risk a client can handle. While they do usually go together, they may also diverge. For example, they may have the resources to get through a market crash but experience feelings of distress if the value of their assets drop. It's important to remember that higher risk usually does correlate to higher returns, but achieving some balance between high returns and risk is critical.
Finally, the advisor needs to understand the goals of the client. For example, they may have a client in their 60's that is nearing retirement with the primary goal of capital preservation. On the other hand, they may have another client in their 30's with primary goals of purchasing a home, funding their children's education, and beginning to save for retirement.
Here at Benefit and Financial Services, we offer investment guidance for individuals and families. We'll work with you to build a portfolio that will protect your wealth and help your money earn money for you, generating income as you age.
The second financial product that a financial professional may help with is insurance. This can include health, dental, vision, life insurance coverage, medicare supplement plans, and more. They can also help you with long-term care plans and disability income plans, among others.
Most insurance options are subject to the different rules and laws in each state. A local advisor is uniquely positioned to advise you on building an insurance plan that is the most affordable, effecive solution for your immediate area. They may be more keenly aware of the requirements of your state, and the options that are available to you than an advisor at a national firm would be.
The insurance marketplace can be confusing, with so many different options available, each with its own set of pros and cons. You'll need to consider premiums, the level of coverage, deductibles, the increasing cost of healthcare, and so much more.
A local financial professional can help you navigate the marketplace to ensure that you're choosing the right insurance products for your goals and situation. In addition, here at Benefit and Financial Services, we not only work with individuals and families but also businesses. As a result, we can help you select the right insurance benefits packages for your team. As a local firm, we’re uniquely aware of the hiring market in the region, and can help you plan a benefits package designed to help you hire and retain top talent.
Banking & Cash Management
Whether you are putting your money to work for you (investing) or you're putting money aside (savings), your financial professional knows that the way you bank and manage your cash will have an impact on your daily life as well as your long-term goals.
Your financial professional can guide you to products and solutions that can help you meet your personal needs and goals. For example, when it comes to cash, you should have two categories: savings versus everyday spending. You can work closely with your financial professional to find the solution that will work best for you based on your unique situation and needs.
The trouble with national firms is that they may not have as strong of a connection with your local financial institution, which could lead to missed opportunities. By working with a local advisor, you'll stay connected with the community and have access to opportunities at local banks that you may have missed out on otherwise.
Individuals and families are not the only ones in need of banking and cash management services. Businesses often have more complex banking needs and benefit from specialized guidance.
From commercial checking accounts to high-interest savings and beyond, we can help. We offer banking and cash management services for both individuals and employers.
As local financial professionals, we not only work with major banks but also local banks and credit unions, opening up more opportunities and options for you and your business when it comes to banking and cash management.
Think about what you want your retirement to look like. Do you plan to travel around the world or visit with grandchildren? Maybe you'd like to open your own business. No matter what your retirement dream is, you're going to need some stable income streams to get you through a few decades.
One thing many individuals forget to consider when choosing a financial professional to help with retirement planning is the geographic area in which they live and plan to retire to. Having inside insight into the local area gives local financial professionals an edge over national firms since they understand the local economy – and what the future is likely to hold for the area. National chains often have cookie-cutter solutions that may not be right for you or the area you live in, while local advisors have the flexibility to create a plan that fits your unique needs.
The number of industries offering a pension suitable for retirement is few and far between. That means you'll need to take matters into your own hands. A financial professional can help you build wealth and protect it over the long term. They can estimate your potential financial needs and help you find ways that you can stretch your retirement savings. They will be able to let you know when you should take you required minimum distributions from your investments so that you don't have to pay penalties. Plus, they can help you determine when you should be tapping into any social security money you might be entitled to.
A few of the retirement products and services your financial professional may urge you to consider include:
- 401 (k)
- Buy/Sell Agreements
- IRAs (Simple and SEP)
- IRAs (Traditional and Roth)
- Annuities (Fixed and Variable)
- Executive Benefits
- Succession Planning
Additionally, yourfinancial professional can help set up profit-sharing in your organization if you are an employer, which is a fantastic way to increase employee retention and engagement.
Group Employment Benefits
financial professionals can work with companies to ensure they have the best benefits in place for their employees. These benefits can include 401(k), health insurance, life insurance, and more. Your advisor can also sit with an employee to review the employer's benefits. This is important because it will show each employee how to save, spend, and invest money wisely and maximize the impact of their benefits package.
There are many options available when it comes to planning group employment benefits for your team, including medical, detail, vision, life, or disability insurance. In addition, many employers also choose to offer a robust selection of retirement benefits for their employees.
Offering competitive benefits for your team is a win-win. Not only will you be more prepared to hire and retain top talent, but your team will feel more valued, respected, and engaged in their work.
As you can see, no matter what stage you are at in your life, it's essential to work with a financial professional you can trust. This way, you can be sure that you will have what you need both now and in the future. In addition, it's best to work with someone in your local area so that you can form a personal relationship with them instead of only talking to them on the phone or through online chat or email.
At Benefit and Financial Strategies, we can help you with your financial needs surrounding health/medical/life insurance, employee benefits, retirement planning, and so much more. We offer advice that is unbiased and based on the current market.
We have plenty of experience and education in a variety of finance areas, which means we can provide the range of services you need to create a robust financial plan.
We're proud to say that most of our clients come from referrals. That's because, as a local firm, we have taken the time to develop deep relationships with our clients. We appreciate the trust that our clients have in us, and we always work to keep that trust.
To learn more about how a local financial professional from Benefit and Financial Strategies can help you create a financial plan to suit your needs and goals, get in touch with our team today!