Typically, financial planners earn their living either from commissions or by charging hourly or flat rates for their services. A commission is a fee paid whenever someone buys or sells a stock or other investment. For reasons we’ll explain later, you may want to avoid financial planners who rely on commissions for their income. These advisers may not be the most unbiased source of advice if they profit from steering you into particular products.
You might also encounter financial planners who cater exclusively to the rich and refuse clients with less than $250,000 to invest. Don’t take it personally—hugely successful planners would just prefer to deal with big accounts rather than beginner clients. You want a planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
Fund performance is often thought to be the acid test of fund management, and in the institutional context, accurate measurement is a necessity. For that purpose, institutions measure the performance of each fund (and usually for internal purposes components of each fund) under their management, and performance is also measured by external firms that specialize in performance measurement. The leading performance measurement firms (e.g. Russell Investment Group in the US or BI-SAM[5] in Europe) compile aggregate industry data, e.g., showing how funds in general performed against given indices and peer groups over various time periods.
A financial planner guides you in meeting your current financial needs and long-term goals. That typically means assessing your financial situation, understanding what you want your money to do for you (both now and in the future) and helping create a plan to get you there. Financial planners can help you reduce spending, pay off debt, and save and invest for the future.
Some services offer you access to a team of financial advisors; others offer a level of service that closely mimics what you’d get from a traditional brick-and-mortar-based financial advisory firm: In addition to low-cost investment management, customers are paired with a dedicated human financial advisor who develops a financial plan and helps them execute the advice.
Though the investment management industry may provide lucrative returns, there are also key problems that come with running such a firm. The revenues of investment management firms are directly linked to the market's behavior. This direct connection means that the company's profits depend on market valuations. A major decline in asset prices can cause a decline in the firm's revenue, especially if the price reduction is great compared to the ongoing and steady company costs of operation. Also, clients may be impatient during hard times and bear markets, and even above-average fund performance may not be able to sustain a client's portfolio.
"We see quite a few events with our clients that should trigger a life insurance review," says Adam Hyers, founder of Hyers and Associates in Columbus, Ohio. "Certainly there are the obvious ones like getting married or having children. It's especially true if one spouse is leaving the workforce to raise a child, for example. Any time there is only one primary breadwinner, that is also a very appropriate time to review your life insurance planning."
Managing a client’s investments has its challenges: Investment management isn’t a precise science, and often even the pros fail to accurately predict the market. Despite this, a client’s anger may be directed at their advisor in times of financial turmoil, especially if their portfolio takes a dive. The investment management industry is also facing new challenges from the rise of robo-advisors, which offer a less expensive alternative to traditional investment management.

You will first explore the different biases that we, as humans, are subjected to when facing investment decisions and how they may impact the outcomes of these decisions. Moreover, you will see how emotions and ethical concerns such as honesty and trust influence market participants. When they are considered as a group rather than individually, you will discover how rationality and irrationality can drive asset prices to and away from their fair value. Finally, you will be presented with different portfolio construction methodologies and investment styles that make up the landscape of today's portfolio management industry. At key points throughout the course, you will benefit from the practical knowledge of experts from our corporate partner, UBS, in how to build and manage clients' portfolios.


Managing a client’s investments has its challenges: Investment management isn’t a precise science, and often even the pros fail to accurately predict the market. Despite this, a client’s anger may be directed at their advisor in times of financial turmoil, especially if their portfolio takes a dive. The investment management industry is also facing new challenges from the rise of robo-advisors, which offer a less expensive alternative to traditional investment management.

When most people think about life insurance, it is something to be purchased when we’re young with financial responsibilities and dependents to protect. Any discussion about purchasing life insurance after we retire is often met with strong opinions as to whether or not it makes any financial sense. After all, the cost of life insurance increases significantly over the age of 65.
In practice, the ultimate owners of shares often do not exercise the power they collectively hold (because the owners are many, each with small holdings); financial institutions (as agents) sometimes do. There is a general belief[by whom?] that shareholders – in this case, the institutions acting as agents—could and should exercise more active influence over the companies in which they hold shares (e.g., to hold managers to account, to ensure Board's effective functioning). Such action would add a pressure group to those (the regulators and the Board) overseeing management.
Consumer includes our lending, savings, credit card and financial tools teams, collectively working towards creating the leading platform for millions of customers to take control of their financial lives. Through the use of intuitive design, we provide customers with powerful tools and products that are grounded in value, transparency and simplicity. Within our Consumer business, we are primarily looking for candidates with the following skillsets:
The pressure from this dual competition is why investment management firms must hire talented, intelligent professionals. Though some clients look at the performance of individual investment managers, others check out the overall performance of the firm. One key sign of an investment management company's ability is not just how much money their clients make in good times—but how little they lose in the bad.

Beware of market-beating brags. Warren Buffet outperforms the market averages. There aren’t a lot of people like him. If you have an initial meeting with an adviser and you hear predictions of market-beating performance, get up and walk away. No one can safely make such guarantees, and anyone who’s trying may be taking risks that you don’t want to take.
In this Specialization, you will understand how investment strategies are designed to reach financial goals in a global context. You will learn the theory that underlies strong investment decisions, as well as practical, real-world skills that you can apply when discussing investment proposals with your advisor, managing your personal assets or your client’s investment portfolio. You will start by developing a global understanding of financial markets and what impacts rational and irrational behaviors have in finance at the micro and macro levels. You will then learn how to adequately build and manage a portfolio with a long-term view while gaining an appreciation for novel research advances in finance and related areas as well as future trends that are shaping the investment management industry. In the final Capstone Project, you will create a sensible 5-year investment plan that accounts for an investor's goals and constraints in a dynamic economic landscape. Key speakers from UBS, our corporate partner, will contribute to this specialization by providing you with practical insights they have gathered through years of experience working for the world’s largest wealth manager. Director of this Specialization and main teaching contributor: Dr. Michel Girardin, Lecturer in Macro-Finance, University of Geneva
An initial meeting with a financial planner is like a first date: It’s the chance to get to know one another and see if you mesh on a personal and philosophical level. Take this opportunity to find out everything you can, including how much you can expect to pay, how the financial plan will be presented and how often to expect ongoing communication. (Here are 10 questions to ask a financial advisor to gather information and see whether you click.)
Hitting 50. In the early stages of a family's life, your biggest asset is your ability to earn income, which your family needs for both immediate and long-term goals, says Jeremy Torgerson, chief executive officer at nVest Advisors near Denver. "Life insurance is obviously very important at this stage, as is disability, since we are far more likely to be injured and unable to work than to die prematurely," he says. "People need more life insurance than they think when they're young and just starting families, so this is usually my recommendation." However, as people get older, their insurance needs change from needing protection against premature death to protection against costs for care, Torgerson says. "When I have clients in their late 40s through about 60, we often talk about long-term care insurance needs, especially for the wives," he adds. "The last statistic I heard from an LTC insurance carrier was that we will spend the last four years of our lives, on average, needing some sort of care to help us with activities of daily living. You'll need to prepare for that."

When choosing a financial planner, it's important to understand the financial planning landscape. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), almost anyone can claim to be a financial planner and might come from many different backgrounds. Financial planners might be brokers or investment advisers, insurance agents, practicing accountants, or individuals with no financial credentials. That is why the consumer must perform his or her due diligence before turning their money over to any sort of financial advisor. Here are some differences between the two terms.
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