Self-directed retirement puts you in control. You review your alternative investment options, perform as much due diligence as possible when selecting an appropriate avenue, and execute the transaction. However, even with your ability to dictate your retirement strategy, consulting with a professional can help clarify your financial goals and set you on a path to achieving them. An IRA custodian, we at New Direction Trust Company do not provide recommendations or offer advice on any particular course of action. For assistance along these lines, financial advisors can offer the expertise you need to map out your financial future.
That is, of course, assuming your financial advisor has the education and accreditation to provide competent advice. As you may have heard, just about anyone may call themselves a “financial advisor” regardless of their background or professional experience. Therefore, just as you would with a potential investment, it may serve you well to investigate any financial professionals you’re considering working with.
Financial advisors bear various designations depending on their accrued certificates. These certifications tend to focus on specific fields, so even an accredited advisor may not suit your needs if his or her background isn’t conducive to your goals. You’ve likely heard of Certified Public Accountants (CPA®) and Certified Financial Planners (CFP®), who work mostly with general accounting and taxes. Other such professionals include Chartered Financial Consultants (ChFC®), who receive a higher degree of training for more comprehensive service, and Chartered Life Underwriters (CLU), who specialize in insurance.
While these individuals are well-equipped to guide your strategy, others may be licensed to directly implement your investments. Investment Advisors, or Investment Advisor Representatives (IAR), must obtain licensure to serve as brokers or other such intermediaries. As specified by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), prospective Investment Advisors must pass the Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination) and the Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination) as prerequisite measures for eventual licensure. The Series 65 (Uniform Investment Advisor Law Examination) may also be taken in lieu of the other two. Asset Manager, Investment Counselor, and Wealth Manager are among other job titles beneath the Investment Advisor umbrella.
Many financial professionals earn multiple designations, equipping them to assist their clients with a broad range of initiatives. However, without at least one of these designations, your “financial advisor” may not have the answers you need. When it comes to navigating your retirement plan, a capable, certified professional can be the difference between a knowledge-based strategy and an arbitrary implementation of assumptions. Although we’re unable to provide advice, New Direction Trust Company prides itself on client education. Once you’ve completed your research and decided on an investment path, we would be happy to answer your IRA questions at 877-742-1270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.