Frequently Asked Questions About Investment Advice

What is Investment Advice? Investment advice is any guidance or recommendation that tries to educate, advise, or direct an investor about a specific investment opportunity or group of related investments. In plain English, investment advice is the “go-to” expert for any serious investor. For example, if you are interested in real estate investing, your best professional advice would be to seek out the advice of a qualified and experienced real estate investment adviser.

Why would anyone want to seek out professional financial advisors (especially those who charge fees for their services)? The answer is simple – because professional financial advisors can help you make better informed investment decisions. The cost of these services is nothing compared to the benefit. Most people don’t know a great deal about many investments, but a financial advisor can access a tremendous amount of information about individual investments that you may never be able to find on your own. As such financial advisors often provide investment advice to clients for a small fee.

What does a qualified financial advisor do? A good investment adviser is involved in the investment process from start to finish. He or she will closely monitor your investments, making sure that your decisions reflect your long term goals. From the initial investment advice (such as when to buy or sell mutual funds) to the management of your portfolio (including when to cut losses and when to buy and sell stocks), a qualified financial advisor will be your best friend throughout your financial planning career.

How does an investment adviser give investment advice? Most advisors can be found online, offering their services for a flat fee. Some also offer telephone consultations, which may be the better option for you depending on your schedule and availability.

When should I consider a provider of investment advice? You should consider a provider of investment advice when: a) you are not knowledgeable about the process; b) you do not have a beneficiary; and c) your investment options do not meet your needs. For example, if you are a retired teacher who has a limited income, but you have long term goals of being a stock market investor, you should consider a provider of online investment advice who offers a limited program that focuses on those strategies. On the other hand, if you are a stay-at-home parent who wants to provide for your children, and you know nothing about the stock market, you should consider a provider of web-based financial education programs, such as WebMD.

Are there other sources of investment advice besides online Web sites? Yes, of course. There are numerous books and other consumer based guides to wealth building that address every aspect of personal finance, from tax strategies to investments in individual retirement accounts to retirement investment advice. Some are available on CD. You can also contact your financial planner directly for a more comprehensive wealth plan.

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