Operating in the investment business can be pretty hard and it requires a lot of thinking, organizing and planning ahead. If you are a newbie to the whole investment thing, this can be even trickier, because there are a lot of things that you have to learn as you go, and there is a lot of research to be done in order to succeed, not to mention the bad decisions that lurk just around every corner and that can be pretty hard to avoid sometimes. This is why many people who are beginning the investment journey tend to find a consultant that will, for a price, of course, advise them in the ways of investment, and help them achieve their desired goals.
Finding an investment consultant is not that hard. You can find many just by searching ‘property investment consultant’ on Google. However, finding a good investment consultant is not an easy job. To find the best, you will have to go the extra mile, but it is very advisable that you find the best, because best consultants provide best profits.
The first thing that you need to do is to see what you need exactly from a consultant, because you do not want to end up with one of those consultants that sell only one investment solution that will not fit your needs.
The second thing would be to do some checking and see which consultant is available. You need someone who will be able to start working with you right away. You can search for available consultants primarily with their associations, as in every country there are a few consultants’ associations and they offer various ways of reaching available ones. When you have acquired a list of available consultants and consultant firms, you need to do some research. This can be done via the phone, as there is no need to go and meet each one. Here are some things that you should ask about:
The primary thing that you should ask about is whether they have the proper license for operating in the investment business. Licensed consultant firms offer better terms of working together and are generally a better choice than those that do not possess a license. Bear in mind, though, that not possessing a license is not illegal, and firms without licenses can still operate. However, the difference is that with licensed firms and consultants you, as a customer, are better protected, because the license offers access to free dispute resolution and a few other tools that are designed to bail you out should the things go wrong. Another thing to note would be that a license does not guarantee profit for you, but chances for profit are higher with licensed firms and consultants.
Another thing that you should ask about when phoning is the price that you will have to pay for the advice. No one will give you the actual price over the phone, but you can ask about a crude estimate, as that will give you at least some idea about how much you are going to pay. You can use this later to compare different offers.
When it comes to how you can pay for the advice there are certain things that you should know. Firstly, you will most probably be asked to pay in advance for the advice. This is the practice of most consulting firms. Then if you choose to have the consultant guide you further, you will either have to pay through a percentage of the revenue of your investments, or by a part of the financial product that you bought. The ‘percentage of assets’ way of paying is something that you should avoid, because the consultant may receive greater benefits by offering products of a certain company. ‘Fee-for-services’ way of paying, or a commission, is a better way to pay the consultant for his services, because it will make the consultant be biased towards the profit and not a certain financial product.
Another important thing about a consulting firm is who owns the firm. Many investment advisory firms are either owned or sponsored by some other financial institutions. In some cases, this means that these companies have the obligation to offer only the products of one company. Other companies can prefer to offer you their mother-company’s products, because they will receive more money that way. This is something that you want to avoid, so check well who owns the firm, and make your decision accordingly.
As I said before, bad choices lurk around every corner in the financial and investment business. This is why you need advice and tips on how to survive in the tough financial game. Use these tips to find a consultant who is right for your needs and who will help you get the best value for your money.