What Do Financial Experts Do?

Whether your financial goal is getting out
of debt, saving for retirement, or starting your own business, you’ll be facing as many
pitfalls and obstacles as a dungeon-crawling treasure-seeker. But no hero has to go it alone. Frodo had the fellowship. Harry had Ron and Hermione. Eleven had the Hawkins Middle AV Club So if you want to slay your money monsters,
you may want to assemble a financial fellowship of of your own. Each Financial Dream Team will be a little
different, depending on your needs. But here are some of the most important roles
you might want to fill before embarking into the great unknown. Plotting a course through the tax-code can
be as confusing as charting a path through the Dead Marshes. A recent study shows that while 34% of tax-filers
choose to use a digital tool (like Turbo Tax) to self file, 28% use an accountant. So, do you need one? If your financial situation is uncomplicated,
such as a W2 job with a set-salary, you’ll probably be just fine with an digital tax-filing
service. But if your financial year was full of twists
and turns, like running a small business, helping a child with tuition, or owning
a rental property, you should probably consider partnering with an Enrolled Agent or Certified
Public Accountant. An EA can help you file your tax return, while
a CPA is required to have a comprehensive knowledge of taxes, auditing, and business
law. If an expert navigator can help you avoid
even one wrong turn, they might easily save you thousands of dollars. Nobody likes paying for insurance. But think of it like stocking up on armor
or healing potions you hope to never use. You’ll be thanking your lucky stars if life
ends up throwing you a nasty curveball like a disability or a house-fire. A licensed insurance agent may specialize
in protecting against bodily risks, material damage, or the threat of a lawsuit. Remember that agents are paid by commission,
typically 8-16% in the US, so be wary of any up-sells. An independent insurance agent will allow
you to shop around for multiple policies and compare prices and benefits. This situation calls for a master of the mystical
arts. Somebody that speaks the arcane language Legalese. We need a Lawyer. A trusted attorney can help you craft magic
scrolls–I mean, contracts or wills, set up a business entity, and back you up in a tight
legal situation. And knowing just one attorney will often give
you access to their database of other attorneys. Just ask and odds are you’ll get another
great specialist for your situation. Ever wish you had a wise old expert to nudge
you in the right direction? Then maybe it’s time you sought out a Professional
Mentor. You want someone that’s been in your shoes
before. It might be somebody that graduated from your
Master’s program or that launched a business like yours. Let them know how much you admire them and
ask if they’d let you take them to breakfast once per month. You might be surprised at what people will
do for a chance to share their story. Who’s going to wrangle all the experts you’re
recruiting? That’s where the Financial Planner comes
in. While some financial planners primarily focus
on investments and money-management, a true “captain” of your team should take holistic view of your finances and be able to command all the moving parts. The “CFP” is the premier certification
for financial advisers and it’s barer is often called the “Master Generalist”. Their knowledge often runs more broad than
deep – from retirement to investments, estate planning to insurance. They can help you make sure all the pieces
of your party are aiming for the same goals. Financial planners can be compensated one
of three ways – commission for recommending financial products, a fee (flat or percentage
of your investments), or a hybrid of both (also known as fee-based). Whatever you choose, make certain your financial
advisor is a sworn “fiduciary”, who will put your financial needs over their own. Unlike Frodo’s fellowship, these companions
won’t follow you for nothing. Most of them will need to be paid. But the shortcuts they’ll find and the traps
they’ll disarm will save you money in the long run. Best of all, you’ll have the peace of mind
knowing that somebody’s got your back. And that may be what makes all the difference. And that’s our two cents! Monstrum is a fascinating new show from PBS Digital Studios about monsters, myth and lore. Hosted by Emily Zarka, Ph.D. (aka Dr. Z), the show delves into the origins of iconic monsters and what these creatures say about us. Want to know more about the Nordic zombies that may have inspired Game of Thrones’ White Walkers? Or why the Headless Horseman was, well, headless? Head to the link the description and subscribe to Monstrum. If you ever recruited a financial expert for your team, how did you go about it? Let us know in the comments.


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