Truth: no one really needs a financial professional. There’s enough information on the internet to enable most people to put together a portfolio and try to manage it themselves.
However, not everyone has the time for or interest in staying on top of changing market conditions, regulations, and other variables that affect investment decisions. Nor do all investors have the temperament and discipline required for good decision-making or the knowledge base regarding investing strategies.
If you’re one of them, working with a financial professional may be a good option.
Specific situations require special guidance
Most of the situations for which working with a financial professional is preferable to the "do-it-yourself" option fall into one of three categories:
1. Life events
Certain events take place in our lives that can have a significant effect on financial matters. Among them: getting married or divorced, retiring, changing jobs, relocating, or coming into a large sum of money. The same goes for having a baby, going through fertility treatments, or adopting a child — any of which can change your financial priorities and needs. Caring for aging parents can affect your financial plans too, as can a death in the family.
Working with an experienced financial professional can help you sort through the complexities and emotions, helping to save you time, stress, and potentially money.
2. Modern families
The majority of today’s families don’t fit the traditional “mom, dad, and 2.2 children” profile. They’re single parents, multi-generational families, blended households, domestic partners, married gay couples, or any of a number of other permutations.
Some have a family member with a disability or special needs. Many consider their pets as family and want to plan for their future care. All face what can be emotionally charged challenges pertaining to financial and legal matters. Working with a financial professional with experience with families like yours can provide you with much-needed objective guidance.
3. Special interests and professions
Special interests often drive financial planning needs. That can be the case if you’re interested in socially responsible investing or want your faith or religion to play a role in your investment strategy and financial plans.
Where you live, where you work, and what you do for a living can also influence your financial plans. For example, if you’re a US citizen but work overseas, you may have special tax issues to consider. If you’re a high net worth individual, you may require specialized financial guidance on matters such as estate planning, philanthropy, and leaving a legacy for your family.
For physicians, attorneys, entrepreneurs, high tech professionals, entertainment celebrities, and others, asset protection can be a major concern. Many professional athletes fall in the “requires specialized financial guidance” category too, and require assistance with things like setting up a charitable foundation or dealing with taxes on signing bonuses.
A financial professional with expertise working with investors in your profession or with interests similar to yours can provide valuable insights.
Your next steps
Working with a financial professional is largely a matter of choice. The important thing is to find one that’s right for you. Learn some of the considerations for choosing the best financial professional.
Or start your search now using our financial professional search tool.
Note: LPL financial professionals do not provide specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.