How Much Value Does Your Financial Advisor Add? (Hint: It’s probably more than you think.)

Like most big tasks in life, when it comes to creating a financial plan, it’s always best to enlist the help of a professional. And as research and conventional wisdom shows, working with a financial advisor can result in a higher net return on your investments — six percent or more, according to research like found in this Forbes article — versus going it alone. But how much higher depends on several factors.

The first and most important question to ask in gauging your financial advisor’s potential value-add is: Do they operate as a fee-only fiduciary?

Unlike non-fiduciary planning firms, Bartlett advisors are legally bound to act in the best interests of our clients, and we don’t work on commission or push proprietary products. In addition, Bartlett advisors add value by providing relationship-oriented services that include portfolio creation, wealth management, and behavioral coaching. We help our clients…

Create a portfolio to meet individual financial needs.

When we talk about financial goals, we’re really talking about purpose — what’s the purpose of your wealth, and what do you hope to see it achieve? Are you nearing retirement and looking to travel? Do you want to ensure quality education for your children? Would you like to use portions of your wealth to support charitable causes? These are questions Bartlett advisors typically ask when helping clients choose low-cost, tax-effective investment vehicles that make the most sense for their big financial picture.

Manage and rebalance their wealth over time.

Bartlett advisors establish a 360-degree view of each client’s financial life, taking into account both current finances and future plans. By establishing a strategy for everyday spending and periodic rebalancing, we seek to help clients maximize their risk-adjusted returns over time and withdraw in the most tax-efficient way once they reach retirement.

Stick to their financial plans.

One of the most important aspects of our work at Bartlett is coaching individuals and families on the behaviors that support good financial health. Beyond providing financial education, we strive to empower clients to make sound financial decisions, notify them about year-on-year tax changes and potential benefits, and help avoid both common and uncommon pitfalls amid ever-changing markets.