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What Does Good Financial Advice Look Like?

This article was written by Jackie Goldstick, CFP® and Todd Schanel, CFP®, CPA, CFA.

In today’s climate of one-page financial plans, bargain-basement fund pricing, automated investment tools, and pundits inundating you with their “expert" opinions, it seems like advice is being thrown at you from every direction. This begs the question, do you even need a financial advisor anymore?

If the advisor is providing financial advice that is focused on issuing buy/sell recommendations, executing transactions and collecting commissions, then no, you don’t need that type of advice. You probably never did. But good advice is something else entirely.

Good advice is timeless ... and timely. Good financial advice never goes out of style; its principles are permanent. Good advice must remain relevant in an ever-changing world. Your advisor should be able to help you embrace promising new opportunities and insights, while avoiding the false leads and frightening challenges that are as formidable as ever in today’s markets. (For related reading, see: Find a Financial Advisor Who Has These Qualities.)

What Good Advice Looks Like

Good advice looks at the parts ... and the whole. Good financial advice helps you manage your investment portfolio for preserving or increasing your wealth according to your goals while simultaneously implementing and managing your myriad related interests: taxes, insurance policies, estate planning paperwork, philanthropic pursuits, executive compensation, real estate holdings, business activities and more. Good financial advice should bring a unifying whole to your multifaceted parts.

Good advice is personalized ... and persistent. Good financial advice is essential for making good decisions—not just in general, but for you: your money, your interests, your life. It’s about being in a relationship with an advisor who is there for you not only during the promising planning stages when everything makes sense, but when your resolve is being sorely tested in turbulent markets or when your own life’s events have knocked you off-course. Good advice helps you find your way when you’ve been sideswiped by the unexpected.

Good advice is wise ... and compassionate. Good financial advice is grounded in enduring academic evidence, structured process and informed experience. But for all that, financial advice is nothing if it fails to contribute to that which brings joy to your life, to help you protect the ones you love, and to reassure you in times of trouble. For this, a good advisor must not only advise you; he or she must listen to you. This brings us to our most important point.

Good advice is in your highest financial interest, period. Above all, good advice should always and only be in your highest financial interest, no matter what. You, as the client, always come first. (For related reading, see: Does Your Advisor Have an Exit Strategy?)

So, do you need advice when it comes to your financial affairs? The answer is yes as long as it’s the right kind of advice—the kind that sees you through turbulent times, and onward towards your relevant financial goals and life goals. If this advice sounds a little different from the status-quo stock tips or market-timing tactics you may be used to hearing, that’s because it is. (For related reading, see: How to Distinguish Advisors From Salespeople.)


Core Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Florida and is located at 4600 Military Trail, Suite 215, Jupiter, FL 33458, (561)491-0231. Investing in securities involves risk, including the potential loss of principal invested. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will outperform a non-diversified portfolio in any given market environment. No investment strategy, such as asset allocation, can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.