Financial Advisors: Help Wanted – Napkin Finance

Financial Advisors
Help Wanted

October 10, 2020
Financial Advisors

What does a financial advisor do?

A financial advisor can be anyone who provides advice or assistance with your money decisions. Investment advisers, lawyers, accountants—and yes, even robots—can be financial advisors. A financial advisor doesn’t have one specific role (the way, say, a tax preparer does).

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Fun facts about retirement

  • Thinking of hiring a robot as your financial advisor? It’s a popular choice, with assets managed by so-called robo-advisors growing to almost $300 billion in recent years.
  • The biggest drawback of using a robo-advisor has typically been that they can’t offer a shoulder to cry on—like when you’re scared about market volatility or trade wars. But increasingly, robo-advisors are offering phone access to live financial planners alongside their existing tech-based offerings (because sometimes, even millennials want to talk to a real human).
  • In decades past, financial advisors (who were usually brokers) mainly focussed on getting their clients in on the hottest investments. These days, more advisors engage in “goals-based” or “holistic” financial planning—which can entail looking at issues like asset allocation, taxes, debt, saving for college, estate planning, and more, in one swoop.
  • The largest “Registered Investment Advisor” (or RIA) is a company called CAPTRUST, with almost $300 billion in assets. The largest “broker dealer” (another flavor of advisory firm) is LPL Financial, with about $630 billion in account assets.
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The simple information you need
to clean up your not-so-simple finances.