The most common reasons people seek out professional financial advice are major life changes, such as:
However, major life changes aren’t the only reasons to hire a financial advisor in Baltimore. Whether you’re new to investing, the financial market confuses you or you just lack the time and energy required to determine what’s right for you, chances are you'll benefit from financial advisory services. In other words, there’s no right or wrong time to hire a financial advisor.
Financial advisors act as guides to help you achieve your dreams, whether you’re saving for your first home, your children’s education or your retirement. Money advisors keep an eye on the market and know how to respond to trends, save clients’ time and increase clients’ profits. Studies indicate that working with a professional advisor increases annual returns by 1.5 - 3.75 percent.
There’s no universal wealth threshold to meet before hiring a financial advisor in Baltimore. Fee-based advisors might work with someone who has as little as $200 in their savings account, although many prefer new clients to have at least $1,000 ready to invest. However, some advisors earn a portion of your investments or assets under management and, as a result, have a minimum portfolio threshold of around $100,000.
One of the most important aspects of finding the right financial advisor in Baltimore is knowing which type is best for your needs. All of these types have varying levels of experience and qualifications. If you work with a financial advisor, inquire about their experience, request references and ask to see their certifications. Types of financial advisors include:
There are also two subtypes of financial advisors: fiduciary and non-fiduciary as well as robo-advisors and human advisors.
Fiduciary financial advisors in Baltimore must put their client’s interest above their own. Non-fiduciary advisors aren’t held to the same standard and sometimes recommend a client purchase investments that benefit their bottom line even if they know their client’s money would be better spent elsewhere. In short, always opt for working with a fiduciary financial advisor if you have a choice between the two.
Robo-advisors are digital software platforms that use algorithms to provide automated financial planning services with little-to-no human oversight. Robo-advisors are cheaper than human advisors and usually have no minimum wealth requirement, but human advisors are more capable of offering personalized insights and advice.
Financial advisors in Baltimore use different fee structures depending on the financial advisory services they offer, and, when it comes to hiring a financial advisor, fee structures matter.
|Fee structure||Average cost||What you get|
|Hourly rate||$150 - $500 per hour||Flexibility to pay for small services like consultations|
|Flat fee||$500 - $3,500||Depends on the service requested, usually a one-time financial plan|
|Commission||3% - 6%||Comprehensive investment advice with the advisor taking a percentage of each transaction|
|Assets under management||0.25% (robo-advisors) / 1% - 7% (human advisors)||Comprehensive asset management; this fee is charged as a percentage of what’s in your account|
|Retainer||$2,000 - $8,000 annually||Comprehensive financial planning, implementation, monitoring and adjustments as needed|
Financial advisors in Baltimore refer to themselves as fee-only or fee-based to indicate their pricing model. Fee-only advisors exclusively make money by charging their clients. This means they don’t earn a commission on transactions or get kickbacks for directing the client in certain directions. Fee-based advisors charge fees, but also accept commissions from investments made on your behalf.
When you’re ready to start meeting with potential advisors, look for a fiduciary in Baltimore with professional certifications, experience and a passion for financial planning, advising and asset management.
The best way to assess the quality of a financial advisor and determine if they are right for you is to speak up about your goals and ask questions. Before you commit, ask:
There are plenty of hard-working, trustworthy financial advisors in Baltimore, but, as with anything involving money, there are bad agents and scammers out there too. Be on the lookout for advisors who aren’t certified, offer to manage your money for free, guarantee certain results or don’t ask about your financial goals. These are red flags and surefire signs it’s time to continue in your search for financial advisory services.
Finally, use tools like BrokerCheck to verify your financial advisor’s history and qualifications before trusting them with your savings.
Facet Wealth is headquartered in Baltimore and offers fiduciary asset management. If the idea of working with multiple advisors in a big firm makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. That’s why Facet Wealth guarantees clients work with one CFP who creates a financial plan specific to their needs, goals and assets complemented by their robo-advisor software. Reviewers appreciate the diversity of the financial planning services offered by Facet.