Hiring a financial advisor helps you plan, budget, save and invest your money to protect your future. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best financial advisors in Indianapolis to find you a fee-only fiduciary to help you achieve your financial goals.
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Hiring a financial advisor in Indianapolis is always a good idea, but most people only seek one when they’re facing major life changes. If you’re getting married, having a baby, saving for retirement or planning to pay for your children’s education, you’ll need an expert who can help you navigate the financial challenges involved.
Hiring a financial planner comes with a number of benefits, including:
Getting guidance on financial goals
Receiving professional advice on investments
Managing debt in the most efficient way possible
Avoiding costly mistakes
Being confident that an expert is managing your money
You don’t have to be wealthy to hire a financial advisor in Indianapolis, but many money advisors require you to have a certain amount of assets, usually $100,000. This isn’t always the case, though. Some financial planners help you manage your money regardless of what you have saved, which is especially helpful for consumers who are only interested in saving for retirement or a college fund.
Types of financial advisors
There are different types of financial advisors in Indianapolis, so it’s important to choose the right one to meet your needs. Two major distinctions separate all financial advisors.
Robo-advisors and human advisors
A robo-advisor is an algorithm-driven software program for people who want to access financial tools and resources online. These platforms ask you to share your financial details and then offer different products and services that meet your needs. Robo-advisors are cheaper than traditional advisors and have lower minimum account balances.
A human financial advisor meets with you to discuss your current financial situation, your plans, your goals for the future and the level of risk that you’re comfortable with when investing. These meetings give human advisors the ability to provide much more specific asset management than robo-advisors.
Fiduciary advisors and non-fiduciary advisors
When you work with a fiduciary financial advisor in Indianapolis, they are legally bound to put your financial interests ahead of their own. A fiduciary’s recommendations and advice are unbiased and not based on any commissions or financial rewards from the companies or products they recommend.
Non-fiduciary financial advisors want their customers to be successful, but they are not legally bound to provide advice that isn’t based on their own financial interests as long as it’s suitable for the client. Many earn commissions and fees from the companies they promote and the products they recommend. This is an important distinction for Indianapolis consumers to understand because non-fiduciary asset management can be predatory and cost money compared to working with a fiduciary.
What is the cost of a financial advisor in Indianapolis?
The cost of a financial advisor in Indianapolis depends on the fiduciary you choose and the services you need. Most financial advisors charge a flat fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for a basic financial plan or short-term guidance. You might also find financial planners who charge an hourly rate of $200 to $500 an hour for consultation, correspondence and filings.
For continuous financial advice or ongoing asset management in Indianapolis, clients pay a monthly retainer fee between $100 and $1,000, depending on the financial advisory services required.
Instead of charging a flat fee, some Indianapolis advisors take a commission from what they sell you or a percentage of the overall value of your financial portfolio.
Fee-only advisors and fee-based advisors
Fee-only fiduciary advisors exclusively make money from charging customers fees and don’t take any commissions or money from the companies and investments they recommend. Fee-based financial advisors also charge fees but earn an additional commission from the investments they recommend.
Whatever the pricing structure, transparency is critical. You need to know how much you’re paying and how your advisor is earning money off of the advice he or she gives to you. You don’t want to invest in something simply because your advisor makes money off of it.
There might be additional costs to look for depending on the services you’re receiving, such as administrative fees, transactional fees, accounting fees and even technology fees. Always ask for a full schedule of costs before you agree to work with a financial planner. Your regular statements should reflect all of the income and expenses associated with your portfolio, including the commission and fees from your financial advisor.
The Federal Trade Commission maintains a tip sheet for consumers who are trying to decide if fees for certain services, including financial management, are fair and consistent with industry standards.
What qualifications should a financial advisor have?
A good financial advisor in Indianapolis has a college education and experience managing money and working with customers in your financial situation. Look for a Certified Financial Planner or a Chartered Financial Analyst certified in investments and portfolio management.
Favor advisors with relevant specialties. For example, if you’re preparing to start your own business, look for a money advisor with experience in self-employment retirement funds.
Don’t hire a financial planner in Indianapolis without asking questions, such as:
How much experience do you have?
What is your educational background?
Are you independent or do you work for a firm?
Are you a fiduciary financial advisor?
What types of professional development keeps you current in the field?
How do you make money?
Are you available by phone and email for questions and consultations?
How many portfolios do you manage?
What is the average worth of your clients?
What is your investment philosophy?
Is my information safe? How do you guarantee that?
Watch out for firms or financial planners in Indianapolis making exaggerated promises, and don’t believe promises of high-yield investments with little risk. Beware of investment options advertised as “secret” without a prospectus or evidence that the investment really exists. Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes are easier to identify if you research them, and, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Facet Wealth offers customized financial management and fee structures based on each customer’s needs. The company assigns new clients their own CFP who provides holistic financial planning that covers any financial issues Indianapolis consumers might be facing currently or encountering in the future.
Halter Ferguson Financial
A locally owned Indianapolis financial planning firm, Halter Ferguson helps people plan for retirement, make smart financial decisions and pursue detailed financial goals. This company provides asset management and ongoing financial workshops and educational opportunities. Local reviewers praise the company for its well-informed and accommodating staff.
Bedel Financial Consulting
A local fee-based financial management firm, Bedel Financial has been helping Indianapolis residents with their finances since 1989. It’s a fee-only firm, so it doesn’t sell products or earn commissions. The firm manages over $1 billion in discretionary assets and specializes in wealth management, retirement planning and generational advice.
Thurston Springer Miller Herd & Titak
Thurston Springer has been managing finances for members of the Indianapolis community for 40 years. Its services include investment planning, financial management, brokerage products and insurance. The company manages over $500 million in assets as an independent, FINRA-member broker-dealer and Securities and Exchange Commission–Registered Investment Advisor.
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