Asset Management & Advisory Services


(239) 356-1515

Financial Advisor

Asset Management & Advisory Service specializes in wealth management and retirement planning. We provide the financial advice you deserve with a goal to help you achieve financial security for the long term. "As financial advisors, you can’t know much about a person until you meet with them face to face. We know that a good business is built on relationships. That’s why we as, financial advisors, dedicate ourselves to our clients, making sure our partnership is as good as it can be. We build our relationships on values like trust and mutual respect - that ensures our clients always know we put them first.

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How to make your choice

We all know by now the types of financial advisor existing today; it's essential to decide which type to go for first. There are financial advisors and independent financial advisors; the first one functions as a part of a firm or a similar financial institution while the other operates like a freelancer. That makes sure one thing; with an independent financial advisor, your options are more. A financial advisor shall thus provide financial advice- which is correct - but then again, financial advice is a very broad term requiring fine-tuning.

To be precise, financial advices are as many as the number of financial products and strategies available in the market; there also remains a question on their individual suitability. A financial advisor is the one who matches them up and therefore; it's a specialized service that you require for better results.

Let's see what can be achieved from an independent financial advisor. An IFA doesn't hold any contract whereas others remain bound by contracts with financial institutions (e.g. life insurance or mortgage companies) or work directly under the company's payroll. Therefore, why a contract bound/employed financial advisor may suggest going for a financial product sold by the same financial company - maybe that's not meant to suit you completely - an independent financial advisor shall select a plan tailor-made to your needs if all other readily-available financial packages fall short. So now that you've known the difference, it's time to learn how to choose the best.

Questions to ask

The regulatory body of financial services (FSA or Financial Services Authority) has put up certain requirements for any person willing to work as an IFA.

This is something you need to enquire about when you are on the process of finding a suitable independent financial advisor; for those working under some financial institution, their credibility can be verified with the employing company. A Certificate in Financial Planning is the bare minimum; if there are advanced qualifications showing, it is all the better. These qualifications are specialization based, for example, an IFA dealing in mortgages must have a Mortgage Advice Qualification (MAQ) or a certification from the Association of the Pensions Management Institute (APMI) and so on. Just remember that the field an IFA is providing his services for must tally with the degrees he/she has earned so far. Ask your questions as you feel, but the abovementioned points must stay included in the answers you receive. And always remember; don't hesitate to take any free quote that's available. It helps to gain some idea on who's more correct to address your needs.

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What to expect next

Be prepared to reveal your entire financial history to the chosen financial advisor, from your most silly impulse spending to your long-term financial goals and everything that's influencing your current spending habits. The financial advisor shall then choose for you a package, but it's always better to get it verified from another source.

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Finding the right Financial Advisor for you can be a difficult task. After all how on earth do you know who to trust? And just because someone might be trustworthy do they really have all the answers to the questions that you need help with?

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What level of experience do they have? And more importantly are they really operating in your best interest or are they just looking out for themselves? As if these were not enough concerns you also have to worry about how ethical your advisor is.

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You don't want to find yourself working with the next Bernie Madoff who runs off with all of your money or is using your valuable assets to fund his or her next big Ponzi scheme. So how do you sort through all of the options and find the right Advisor for you?

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Let's look at 3 things to pay attention to when selecting the right Financial Advisor for you and your family. First how do you know they are legitimate, second how do you know they have your best interest at heart, and third how do you know they will be a good fit for you? Let's explore all three of these questions in some detail to help you get the help you need.

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So how do you do your due diligence and make sure an Advisor you are thinking of working with is actually a legitimate Financial Advisors with verifiable experience and up to date licenses?

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The first place you might want to check is a web site called Broker Check. You can just search Broker Check to find the official website. This website has a free tool to research the background and experience of financial brokers, advisors and firms.

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Broker check can tell you instantly whether a person is registered as required by law to sell securities offer investment advice or both.

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Broker check also gives you a snap shot of an Advisor's employment history, licensing information and regulatory actions, arbitrations and complaints. Wouldn't this be good information to have before entering into a relationship with an Advisor?

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Next it's important to discern whether or not an Advisor has your best interest at heart or not. One way to help you figure this out is to ask your Advisor if he or she is acting as a Fiduciary? I know that's a three dollar word but all it means is that they are legally obligated to put your interest ahead of their own and disclose any conflicts of interest that might interfere with that goal in advance.

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For example, if a Fiduciary is going to get paid a commission on a product that he/she is recommending to you they are obligated to disclose that to you before you purchase. Another helpful thing to look out for is to look for an Advisor that asks to see more than your financial statements. Before they start to work with you they should be asking to see your tax returns, your legal documents, and your insurance contracts. If the only thing they want to see or talk about are your investment statements then how can they really take your whole situation into account when making recommendations?

Finally, you should never feel any sales pressure to move forward or make a hasty decision. A professional Advisor will not use old school sales tactics to gain you as a client. You may need to meet with more than one Advisor and just see how you feel at each meeting. If you are feeling pressured or uncomfortable in any way than that is likely not the right Advisor for you. You should get a sense that the Advisor in question is asking good questions with the goal of helping you to make an educated decision about your money that feels right to you. If you are getting any kind of feedback that he/she is more interested in making a sale than doing the right thing than you should probably move on to someone else.

Certainly there are likely other factors that you could consider such as the Advisors specialty and even the proximity to your home town. However if you start off with the basics of doing your due diligence, making sure they are concerned with putting your interests first, and deciding if you have a good feeling about him/her than you are off to a great start to finding the right Financial Advisor for you.

To begin, just what are finances? This may seem silly, but the most basic concepts are also the most profound that philosophers love to play with and try to systematize. Finances refer to the exchange of goods and services in the form of one currency or another, but has also come to conjure thoughts and ideas of balance and record-keeping. Balance often comes to mind because a good financial situation is a balanced financial situation with exports (expenses) equaling imports (income). A perfect balance between the two is theoretically the most beneficial for trade and thus, everyone's prosperity. The way that you attain this balance is through record-keeping. A complete log of all transactions and exchanges made allows one to see exactly why their finances are as they are and how they can tweak them to get where they want to be.


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Now that we have a basic concept of finances, just what is a financial advisor, and what do they do? A financial advisor is someone who serves others by helping them achieve this balance in finance, but taking this into context, they also help others achieve their dreams by giving them a concrete plan to achieve the means to do so. They take highly detailed information about you, your family's, or your business' income, expenses, and plans for the future in order to develop a financial plan that will allow the necessary capital. Financial advisors also have intimate knowledge of the current standings of different markets and economies both local and global to help you make the right decisions with your money.

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So, how exactly do financial advisors make a living? They are paid through a lump sum, a percentage of your total assets' net worth, or a combination of these two factors. Most financial advisors charge between %1-2 of your total assets, but this number drops the more your assets are worth.

As you might have figured already, if financial advisors are paid through a percentage of how much you are worth, then it is in their best interest to increase the value of your assets. Basically, their payment method is an assurance that they will work for you and not for some outside company or business.

Many people already keep track of their own finances to a degree, so why should you seek the advice of financial advisors when you can advise your own finances? These are trained and experienced professionals with the most up to date information in their field.

Unless you are a financial advisor yourself or take the profession as a major hobby, chances are good that someone who does it for a living knows the most about the state of the market and keeping people and business afloat. Besides the worth of their knowledge, they can also save you an incredible amount of time and stress that so many people go through in keeping track of their records, bank accounts, assets, etc.

So just what does make financial advisors credible? If their payment method isn't enough, there are organizations that promote credibility and ethics within the field of financial advising. There are many of these organizations that offer distinguished titles across the globe, but some of them are CFA Success (Chartered Financial Analyst), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the Assoication of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The later two actually accredit the business schools who train financial advisors and not the individuals themselves. Be sure to ask any financial advisors you consult where their training comes from.

What would good financial advisors be like? Good financial advisors would ask for all of your financial records in their most current state. Good financial advisors would ask about the condition of your assets, where you plan to be financially and career-wise in five years, what you know you'll be spending money on, and what you'd like to do or have if you had the extra funds. They would always offer you financial advice that's worth more than what their costs are. They would reflect their level of professionalism and bring you to that same level.

What is a Financial Advisor?

A Financial Advisor is a professional who provides specialized financial services and advice to individuals, businesses, and governments. These services can include investment advice such as pension planning, portfolio review, and asset allocation. They can also include insurance sales, estate planning, and retirement plan administration.

This financial professional is simply someone who helps the investor meet their financial goals and obligations. Unless the investor provides the advisor investment discretion, the investor will maintain control of assets at all times. Most advisors are bound by a legal fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the client at all times.

Financial Advisors will use investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and futures to help meet the needs of the client. The types of investment services provided are based around the risk tolerance, financial history, income requirements, and other determinants that the client specifies.

These professionals are compensated in a few different ways. The growing trend in compensation includes fee-only advisors. A fee-only investment advisor charges a percentage of the assets that the client has managed. So, for example, if a client wants the advisor to manage $100,000 and the advisor charges 1% of assets, then the fee would be $1000 per year. Other advisors are known as fee-based advisors. This is an older way of compensation which includes both fees and commissions.

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How to Hire a Financial Advisor

Just like anything else, all advisors are not created equally. Follow the steps below when hiring a new professional for the first time.

Ask the advisor who they are, exactly what services they provide, and exactly how they are compensated.

Ask them if they are affiliated with a Broker/Dealer. A broker/dealer will usually have less responsibility to their clients and are more interested in generating commissions. It is best to hire an independent investment advisor who has no association with anyone. This will ensure objectivity when the advisor is helping you meet your goals.

If you are interviewing a financial advisor that is both a stockbroker and investment advisor, make sure that they make it clear in what capacity you will be served. Investment advisors are held to a much higher standard.

You should generally seek to be served by an investment advisor when seeking financial advice.

Ask the financial advisor about their typical types of clients. See if they can provide some general feedback about how they help their clients.

Figure out who their competitors are and in what ways they are better.

Inquire about how progress will be measured and what the goals of the advisor will be for your account.

The first place you should look when searching for a financial advisor is to your family and friends. They will provide you with the most honest feedback.

Where to find a Financial Advisor

When searching around for a financial advisor, it is best to search in your local area. Local advisors will understand the needs of the local community and have a better insight when providing advice.

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Meeting with a certified financial advisor is one of the best ways to get a clear outlook of your financial situation and to appropriately plan for your financial future. Certified Financial Advisors are different from other financial advisors in that they typically have a college degree and at least three years experience, plus various levels of certification depending upon the state they practice in.

A common misconception is that these professionals are only for those who have a lot of money. There are some advisors who prefer to only work with clients who have a high net-worth, but many will gladly meet with anyone who is trying to get a handle on their finances.

Financial advisors are often compensated in the following ways:

Commission Only: Advisors who work for commission won't charge you for advice or even financial plan development.

These advisors make their money off of commission of selling you financial products which may be necessary to implement their financial recommendations.

Fee Only: These advisors will charge a fee to meet with you, provide advice, and any planning or financial management you may need. Some may charge fees on an hourly basis while others will charge on a project basis.

Combination Fee & Commission: Advisors who are compensated on a combination level will charge a fee to meet with you and may also receive a commission off the sale of any financial products you may buy.

Fee Offset: These advisors again make both a fee and receive a commission, except this time the commission will be offset against any fees you are charged.



Salary: Advisors who work for financial service firms may receive a salary for their work. In this case the consumer is referred as a bank client.

Many people benefit greatly from meeting with a financial advisor because it helps them become better informed about their finances. The complex nature of finance and budgeting is one of the main reasons that so many people struggle to control their money. An advisor will help you understand your situation and give you a plan on how to handle your debt and mortgage payments in the future.

When you take on a mortgage, invest for retirement or are planning for your future, you have the opportunity to look at the big financial picture and get strategic advice on the best course of action to take with your finances. The process can be complicated, so you shouldn't be afraid to seek the help and counsel of a Certified Financial Advisor - your future depends on it!


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