By : Saurabh Tyagi
Financial advisors are the professionals that shoulder the responsibility of helping clients make the right decisions about saving, investing and growing their business. As financial planner of the business, the job is certainly different from an accountant or chartered accountant who helps calculate and save on business taxes. Although anyone can boast of being a financial advisor, finding a qualified and expert financial planner is not that easy.
Do you really need a financial advisor for your business?
When it comes to managing your business cash flow, you can try different ways. Instead of trusting it with certified professional, you can also (definitely) do it alone. Although there are many things that you can try with ‘do-it-yourself’ like your own home repairs, there are several limitations in doing these repairs by yourself when it comes to your business. The same logic holds true for financial management. Doing it yourself may seem like possible option for many business owners, while others may find it a flawed idea. For the wise majority, it’s not worth the time and effort. When you start your business operations, your financial goals become more complicated. Thus, managing them requires many hours of research and learning. A financial advisor can save you a lot of time and effort.
The financial advisor will also help you maintain some discipline about your financial strategies and achieving your business goals. Poor financial planning can cause a number of money problems or unrealized potentials. While it does not mean that you turn blind eye towards finance management and rely on your advisor for every small business concern, having some expert to look after your business wealth is a comforting thought.
Professional certifications are the first signals to look for in choosing a financial advisor. The most reliable is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) certifications which validate the credibility of these professionals. For leads, you can check the job sites as there are many CFPs or CFAs posted on these job portals who are ready to help you out.
Verify the background of the planner: While running the background check on your financial planner, it is important to get hold of two facts : 1) whether he has been found guilty of any crime in the past? Or 2) if any regulatory authority ever put him under investigation? Even if the planner is not found guilty, any ongoing or past investigation signals bad business habits and non-transparent communication.
Don’t fall for big-mouthed brags: Legends like Warren Buffet consistently outperforms the market averages. However, there is only one Warren Buffet that the world has seen in the last century. While not everyone has that gift, a financial advisor who starts bragging, on first meeting, about beating his market performance in the past without showing valid credentials should be safely avoided.
Know about the investment approach: There are different schools of investment philosophy. If you have preferences, it is better to ask the planner to know if your preference matches with his. Some business clients prefer investing in low-cost funds while there are others who prefer penny stocks over the multinational stocks. While financial planners might not help you make a lot of money, nevertheless, they will help keep investments consistent with your risk tolerance and financial goals.
Working with an individual against a team of financial planners: Most business clients feel more secure if their money is in the hands of a team of financial planners, and not with a single individual. While two heads is not always better than one, it helps to have a team of professionals to consult each other before finalizing their business recommendation.
Saurabh Tyagi is a career author with expertise in finance and technology sector. His advice, mostly found on the various job portals in India is particularly useful for the millennial generation and helps them in making a better living.