Financial Planners and Estate Planning

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Investor Economic and Financial Education

Some financial analysts, called ratings analysts, evaluate the ability of companies or governments that issue

bonds to repay their debts. On the basis of their evaluation, a management team assigns an investment rating to a companies or governments bonds. Other financial analysts perform budget, cost, and credit analysis as part of their responsibilities.

Personal financial advisors, also called financial planners or financial consultants, use their knowledge of investments, tax laws, and insurance to recommend financial options to individuals in accordance with the individuals short-term and long-term goals. Some of the issues that planners address are retirement and estate planning, funding for college, and general investment options. While most planners offer advice on a wide range of topics, some specialize in areas such as retirement and estate planning or risk management. An advisors work begins with a consultation with the client, from whom the advisor obtains information on the clients finances and financial goals. The advisor then develops a comprehensive financial plan that identifies problem areas, makes recommendations for improvement, and selects appropriate investments compatible with the clients goals, attitude toward risk, and expectation or need for a return on the investment. Sometimes this plan is written, but more often it is in the form of verbal advice. Financial advisors usually meet with established clients at least once a year to update them on potential investments and to determine whether the clients have been through any life changes such as marriage, disability, or retirement that might affect their financial goals. Financial advisors also answer questions from clients regarding changes in benefit plans or the consequences of a change in their jobs or careers. A large part of the success of financial planners depends on their ability to educate their clients about risks and various possible scenarios so that the clients don't harbor unrealistic expectations.

Some advisors buy and sell financial products, such as mutual funds or insurance, or refer clients to other companies for products and services for example, the preparation of taxes or wills. A number of advisors take on the responsibility of managing the clients investments for them.

Source: Department of Labor (

Even the best wealth management and financial plans are incomplete if they do not account for long term tax issues, be sure to review the tax efficiency of your plan.

You may benefit from the services of a wealth management advisor.