A great advisor helps you consistently make great decisions with your money and navigate the financial complexities that often coincide with success. Having an advisor provide financial leadership, counsel, and execution frees up your time to focus on the most important things in your life. To know whether you need a financial advisor, it’s helpful to understand what a financial advisor is and when an advisor can add value to your life.
What is a financial advisor?
Understanding what an advisor is can prove to be unnecessarily complex. There are different professional designations to sort through, different fee structures to understand, different service offerings, and specializations to evaluate. Ultimately, we believe people and organizations are best served by an advisor who is a fiduciary on behalf of clients and does the following:
- prioritizes their clients’ best interests first above everything else
- listens to their clients
- communicates effectively and promptly
- develops a customized plan of action based on client goals
- executes the steps needed on behalf of clients to reach their goals
Clients often benefit from the expertise of an advisor with a professional designation like a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a licensed attorney (JD), or a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), among others. Subject matter expertise and specialization in serving people in your given field or place in life can help you identify advisors who have intentionally designed their practice to be all things to a select group of clients for whom they add tremendous value.
Exencial is a Registered Investment Advisor, and our firm’s advisors and personnel only operate as fiduciaries, under a best-interest service model. Because of this best-interest standard of care, our business model is focused on providing a holistic strategic plan, built around a philosophy that aligns a client’s finances with their goals.
While some advisors have financial incentives to advise clients to buy a product or use a given strategy, our advisors are only paid directly by our clients, so that our clients never have to question the motive behind the advice our team gives.
A great advisor can help coordinate your financial picture with other professionals to avoid any conflict between one area of your finances and another. We choose to work collaboratively with colleagues both inside and outside our firm on behalf of clients. We believe our clients are best served by a team of professionals so that our clients receive the best advice possible in each area of their financial lives.
How can an advisor add value to your life?
As successful people build their wealth and advance in their careers and their life’s work, complexity tends to move higher while time becomes more precious. An advisor adds value through navigating complexity, managing risks, and giving clients back their time to focus on what matters most to them.
Critical Life Events are often the driver behind people making the decision to hire a financial advisor. Buying or selling a business, inheriting assets, receiving a promotion, getting married or divorced, buying a home, having children, planning for retirement – these and other Critical Life Events are the points at which many people recognize they need help to make the right decisions. The well-worn phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know” certainly applies to Critical Life Events, and an advisor can help account for your financial blind spots and avoid unforced errors.
Advisors can also ensure that your financial picture is fully integrated into a strategic plan. Without an integrated strategic plan, there is a good chance that your personal finances are fragmented, with something missing or unaddressed. We believe that Critical Life Events require a strategic plan, not just for growing your money, but doing so in a manner that fits together all the pieces of the financial puzzle, accounting for all the various risks that are ever-present, and effectively managing those risks so that your financial security is not in doubt. Our clients take comfort in knowing that they have a plan in place to accomplish their goals, and that they have a team of professionals working on their behalf to see that their goals are fulfilled.