The Model Matters: A Consumer’s Guide to Shopping for Financial Advice

The benefits, tangible and intangible, that people reap from working with a financial adviser are well-documented. For example, according to research conducted on behalf of AXA Equitable Life, the median retirement account balances for K-12 educators who work with a financial professional were nearly double those of their peers who do not work with a financial professional. Meanwhile, in a 2018 study by the Million Dollar Round Table, roughly three-quarters of consumers who work with a financial adviser indicated they are more confident in their financial future as a result of that relationship.

The question, then, is not whether a person can benefit from a relationship with a financial professional, but which type of financial professional should a person choose to maximize the benefits they get from that relationship. The field of financial advice includes a dizzying array of categories, subcategories and specialties, along with dozens of professional designations, accreditations and certifications. With nothing less than your financial well-being at stake, it’s worth taking some time to educate yourself about the options, so you can find a firm and a person who’s right for you.

The education begins here, take a look at the basic business and advice models that most financial professionals tend to follow.
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