Neal Logan: What to expect from a financial advisor | Opinion

If you know how important investing is for your future, but aren’t sure which way to go, you may want to get advice and guidance from a financial professional. But if you’ve never worked with one before, what can you expect?

Here are some things to look for:


A financial advisor will assess your current financial situation — assets, income, debts, etc. — but this is only the beginning. Today’s advisors recognize the need to take a holistic view of their clients’ lives.

Therefore, you will see questions like this: How do you feel about the investment? How would you rate your risk tolerance? What are your personal financial goals? What hopes and dreams do you have for your family?


Only after fully understanding your needs, goals and preferences will a financial advisor recommend investment moves. There are no “one size fits all” solutions. You may want to avoid people who claim to be financial advisors who “guarantee” big returns with no risk. In the investment world, there are few guarantees and every investment involves some type of risk.


Financial professionals communicate with their clients in different ways, but you should always feel free to reach out to an advisor with any questions or concerns. Most financial advisors will want to meet with their clients at least once a year, either in person or via an online platform, to review their investment portfolios.

During the review, the financial advisor will help you determine if any changes are needed. But financial advisors won’t wait a full year to contact clients to discuss a particular investment move that may need to be made. Also, depending on the company you choose, you should be able to view your portfolio online at your convenience.


A financial advisor may use a variety of software to help clients. For example, a financial advisor can determine the rate of return you might need to achieve specific goals, which will help shape your investment strategy.

But there are also a lot of “what ifs” in anyone’s life, so an advisor can use hypothetical illustrations to show you where you might end up if you take different paths, like retiring early ( or later) than planned or put more (or less) money towards a specific goal, like your children’s education. Anyone’s plans can change, so the ability to visualize different potential scenarios can prove invaluable.

Above all, a financial advisor can help you feel more confident in pursuing your goals. Among investors who work with a financial adviser, 84% said it gave them a greater sense of comfort about their finances during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a 2020 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones. And in turbulent market times like the one we’ve seen this year, a financial advisor can help you avoid overreacting to downturns.

When unforeseen events arise, such as a job interruption, a financial advisor can suggest measures that could help you avoid major disruptions in your financial strategy. Conversely, when a new opportunity arises, perhaps from an inheritance or other windfall, your financial adviser can help you take advantage of it.

Navigating the investment landscape can be difficult, but the journey can be much smoother if you have the right guide.

Neal Logan is a financial advisor to Edward Jones who can be contacted at [email protected] This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Geraldine L. Melton