How to Obtain Free or Low-Cost Financial Advice

Finding affordable and reputable financial advice should not be impossible.

 

Various cost-effective methods for acquiring financial assistance exist that can help you take control of your financial situation. From talking to certified financial advisors to utilizing local classes and programs detailing financial subjects, you can find the best financial advice available without overpaying. Since managing your finances is essential for everyone, regardless of age or income, you must be familiar with all the financial resources accessible to you. While obtaining free or low-cost financial advice may involve rigorous research, you may refer to the following options for financial advice for ideas.

How to Hire Financial Advisors

Talking to a professional financial advisor does not have to be expensive. Because some financial advisors are on commission while other advisors charge standard fees, you must know how the advisor will charge you to assess the total cost of professional financial advice. Credit counselors from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling can help you reduce your current debt and avoid accumulating more debt, and most counselors offer free services or affordable fees. Credit counselors are also trained to help you manage student loans, mortgage costs and bankruptcy. If you want specific advice on your finances, then you may hire a certified financial planner (CFP) at an hourly or package rate.

To request financial services from certified advisors, you must contact the financial agency at which the advisors are employed and schedule a consultation. Sometimes, financial advisors may require you to contact them directly to schedule an introductory meeting. Consultations may take place via the phone or in person and should be used to gauge your compatibility with the advisor. To find a financial advisor who is right for you, you should ask them the following questions:

  • What is your success rate? This question should always be asked, especially by clients hoping to recover from debt or other financial turmoil. You may ask for a copy of the ADV form, which details public information about the business, previous clients and any disciplinary actions filed against the company, to investigate a list of past clients.
  • Who will have access to my financial information? Because your finances are sensitive, you want to know who will be handling your accounts and managing your money. You are encouraged to ask all potential advisors who will be able to view your finances besides them.
  • Will you continue to act in my best interest? It is wise to get this confirmation in writing. In case of legal disputes or complicated financial situations, you must be confident that your financial advisor will serve you well.

Online Financial Advice

Online websites, programs and worksheets can enable you to take control of your finances for little to no cost. However, unlike employing professional advisors, enlisting the assistance of online financial resources requires you to manage your finances yourself. Still, online resources are invaluable and are generally cheaper than working with professionals in person.

Great financial advice can be found on news sites, investment websites and credit companies’ websites. Financial organizations such as Fidelity Investments, E-Trade and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards provide qualified perspectives on personal financial planning strategies and can explain financial terminology. For instance, employers that offer retirement plans may include online instructions and help on their websites.

Even blogs written by fruitful investors or self-made financial successes can produce noteworthy advice. Trustworthy sites granting you apt and succinct financial advice may be ideal for busy adults. The material published on the sites may be tailored to beginners new to investing and financial planning or experienced financial entrepreneurs, so you are encouraged to explore numerous, free online sites to find the ones that are the most helpful.

Electronic worksheets are other complimentary online resources that allow you to easily develop financial plans. The amount of financial advice on the worksheets is usually minimal, but the worksheets enable you to visualize and record your financial situation. Consequently, the worksheets are great tools for budgeting, setting goals, reducing your debt and calculating your net worth.

Computer programs can help you manage your bank accounts, maintain a stable budget and learn how to create personal finance plans via educational tutorials or live webinars. Programs are often compatible with most devices like desktops, smartphones and tablets and can compile your mountain of paperwork into comprehensible charts and lists. Some programs are intuitive enough to warn you when your accounts are at risk of being overdrawn or tell you the exchange rate for foreign currency when necessary. While computer programs are affordable ways of attaining financial advice, the prices of the programs depend on the number of features they offer.

Newsletters and other online forums also seek to educate readers on the importance of financial planning. When you subscribe to certain finance newsletters, you may experience other benefits such as exclusive participation in community learning events, discounts on related products and services and referrals to personalized financial counseling.

 

Podcasts are relatively new sources of financial information that can be found online, and they present the information in convenient audio segments that you can listen to while cleaning, driving or performing other tasks. A great benefit of utilizing podcasts for financial expertise is the relevance of the topics. Most podcast hosts discuss how personal finances connects to current issues to entice listeners, and some tips are geared toward avoiding prominent scams that may be circulating the media.

Community Finance Classes

Local libraries and community centers throughout the U.S. often provide finance workshops on personal financial planning strategies. These classes are typically cheap and cover a wide range of financial topics. The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), community colleges and some credit unions are also known to host free workshops throughout the U.S. such as financial literacy classes and youth finance skills classes and tips.

Classes typically focus on budget-making, retirement planning and debt prevention or reduction tactics. Classes may give advice on investing your money as well. Normally, the courses address significant stages in your life like marriage, divorce and having a baby and how to reconcile your finances based on them.

Additionally, Financial Planning Day events attract interested adults hoping to secure their financial futures. These community functions are free to attend and answer important financial questions that many Americans have. The events are held by volunteer CFPs and present a unique, complimentary opportunity for you to receive one-on-one financial counseling and advice. The CFPs are not permitted to sell products or services to any guests and will not contact you regarding other financial planning opportunities.

 

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