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Financial adviser

Vivan Robertson No Comments

A financial adviser is a professional who suggests and renders financial services to clients based on their financial situation. In many countries Financial Advisors have to complete specific training and hold a license to provide advices. In the United States for example a financial advisor carries a Series 65 or 66 license and according to the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), license designations and compliance issues must be reported for public view. [1] FINRA describes the main groups of investment professionals who may use the term financial adviser to be: brokers, investment advisers, accountants, lawyers, insurance agents and financial planners.

Financial advisers typically provide clients/customers with financial products and services, depending on the licenses they hold and the training they have had. For example, an insurance agent may be qualified to sell both life insurance and variable annuities. A broker may also be a financial planner. A financial adviser may create financial plans for clients or sell financial products, or a combination of both. They also provide some insight on savings.

A financial adviser is generally compensated through fees, commissions, or a combination of both. For example, a financial adviser may be compensated in one or more of the following ways:[3]

  • An hourly fee for advisory services
  • A flat fee, such as $3,500 per year, for an annual portfolio review or $5,000 for a financial plan. This is often referred to as ‘Flat Fee Advisors’
  • A commission on the securities bought or sold, such as $12 per trade
  • A commission (sometimes called a “load”) based on the amount invested in a mutual fund or variable annuity
  • A “mark-up”: when one buys “house” products (such as bonds that the broker holds in inventory), or a “mark-down” when they are sold
  • A fee for assets under management, such as 1% annually of assets managed
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