Being an investor takes some know-how. You can do it yourself using the investing resources discussed in Unit 9, Investing Resources. Or you can reach out to people in the financial services industry to find the advice you need. This unit will help you decide if you need professional help and, if so, where to find it and how to make good choices. A single professional probably cannot provide all the help you’ll need. This unit will help you build a team of financial professionals.
Getting financial help is a little like building a house. Most often, it takes a whole team of people to get the job done—a plumber, electrician, carpenter, carpet layer, roofer, and more. To get your financial house in order also takes a team of professionals—banker, tax preparer, attorney, insurance agent, employee benefit counselor at your place of work, stock broker, and financial planner.
You need to know when to use which professional, if at all, and for what purpose. As a beginning investor, the human resources consultant at your place of work may help you make investment decisions regarding your retirement plan. Stock brokers and financial planners are most likely to provide investment advice and recommend products. Insurance agents provide access to investment products through cash value life policies. Some banks also sell investments.
The bottom line is the financial services industry is complex and becoming more so everyday. But don’t let this hold you back. Plenty of information is available to help you make your decisions (see Unit 9), as are many wise and trustworthy advisors who can help you through the complexities.