Important Tips For Hiring a Financial Advisor

If you are trying to plan for your retirement, want to try your hand at the stock market, or plan to do other important financial planning, having a financial advisor would be in your best interest. A financial advisor will ensure you put your money to the best use. If you have never had a financial advisor and aren’t sure what you should be looking for, know these important tips for hiring a financial advisor.

Consider Pay Structure

Different financial planners work on a different pay structure and you want to make sure you understand what it is and consider it before you hire anyone. Some advisors are commission-based, and that’s something that you want to avoid. When a financial advisor works on commission, that means they’ll make more money if you purchase certain insurance packages or invest in some mutual funds. You don’t want a financial advisor that is constantly pushing certain types of investments and insurance on you just so they can make some more money. You want a financial advisor that will work in only your best interest. Of course, fee-based financial advisors still have their downfall. Typically, this type of advisor earns about 1% of your annual assets. This means the advisor might encourage you to buy an expensive home or property that you don’t particularly need. However, it might be easier for you to pass on a house that you know you don’t need than pass on an insurance package that you don’t quite understand. If you can find an affordable financial planner that charges by the hour, that would probably be in your best interest. They make the same amount of money, even if you opt out of insurance packages or a private island. These planners have the purest motives, and you don’t have to worry about anyone pushing you to buy things you don’t need.

Check Their Background

When you hire a financial planner, don’t forget that they’re working for you, not the other way around. Many people hire services like this and feel like they need to be submissive. You should be interviewing the advisor. Ask if the person has ever been convicted of a crime, ask to see the license, and ask the advisor to write down references that you can call. The person you are hiring is going to have some control over your money, and you need to make sure that it’s someone you can trust. You wouldn’t put your hard-earned money in the hands of a stranger on the street, so you shouldn’t put it in the hands of a stranger behind a desk.

Ask for Recommendations
 
The most simple thing you can do is ask around for recommendations. Asking friends and work colleagues if they recommend anyone is your best bet. If there are people you trust who have been seeing the same financial advisor for years with success, it’s a good indication that it’s an advisor you would want to work with. It’s best to avoid a financial advisor no one knows. It doesn’t mean they won’t be good at the job; but when it comes to your money, it’s better not to take any chances. Financial advisors who work for large, regulated companies tend to come highly recommended, so check out those companies. You can look at the Fisher Investments top 10 RIA here.

Verify Credentials

Just looking at credentials doesn’t prove anything, you need to verify them. The financial advisor should be a certified financial planner (CFP). If certified financial planners get into any trouble, their disciplines become public knowledge. These disciplines can include a suspension, letters of admonition, or even a license revocation. The good thing about this public knowledge is that it’s very easy to find. You can simply go to the website, click on the state, and there are lists of names under each type of discipline. Make sure you look through the list and ensure the financial planner you are looking into isn’t on it. If they are, move on to the next person. You can also verify the certification on the same page. All you have to do is fill out the person’s information and you will know for sure.

Avoid Guarantees

You might find a financial advisor that continues to brag about performance and guarantees you certain returns in investments. There are rarely guarantees in the financial world, so this is a huge red flag. When you interview your financial advisor, pay attention to everything the person is saying. Make sure he or she isn’t promising a market-beating performance a certain return after a certain amount of time. If the person seems overly confident, it would be in your best interest to thank them for their time and walk away.

Hiring a financial advisor is a great way to manage your money. Just make sure you find someone you can trust so your money is in good hands. Follow these tips so you can be confident in your decision.

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Secure Investments That You Can Make

One of the deterrents of investing is how unstable the markets can seem. Many people are not willing to place their hard earned money in ventures that they are not even sure are going to succeed. The dismal state of the economy only proves the mistrust that many people view investment with. This fear of financing, however, can prevent many people from making a profit in the long run. There are, thankfully, methods to invest your money and limit the amount of risk that you face. Here are some of the ways you can invest with some measure of security:

Gold

Many investors advise people to begin buying gold. This is because, compared to many other commodities, this precious metal is actually stable. The value of gold has been quite consistent for many years. It is certainly a more established investment than currency. It also requires minimal risk. Once you have purchased a few ounces of gold, there is no immediate threat to your investment.

You can simply wait until you wish to sell the precious metal. When the prices are high enough, you can sell your amount of gold for a handsome profit. This type of investment ensures that there is no continued risk to your venture at all. As you have physical ownership of the commodity, you are entirely in control of what happens to it.

Savings Account

One of the advantages of a savings account is the liquidity that it offers. Few other investments or commodities can be accessed quite as easily as a savings account. Most banks allow you to withdraw a specific amount of money, at least six times a month. The more you have in your savings account, the more interest you earn. This is also a great method to encourage saving.

To make the best of a savings account, shop around for the highest interest rates on your savings. It is important to note the minimum required when opening the bank account. You should also check how much you are required to have in your bank account at the end of each month. To ensure that your income is truly safe, you should invest in a bank that is a part of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Authorities such as these will insure the savings that you place in the account. This will allow you to protect your savings from unforeseen events.

Canada Premium Bond

The Canada Premium Bond (CPB) is guaranteed by the Canadian government. These bonds can be bought at most financial institutions throughout Canada. You can purchase one for as low as $100. Once you have bought a certain number of bonds, you will receive interest on this investment every year until the bond matures.

You can then redeem your original investment. This method offers you a great way to earn a little extra money, depending on how much you have invested. As this venture is guaranteed by a government entity, there is reduced risk.

Investment does not always have to be a gambling game. There are often times when you can remove the risk from the equation and make a stable investment.

 

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Point of Sale Systems and The Growing Market in Canada

Walking into one of the huge shopping outlets of today, like Wal-Mart, Auchan, or even COOP, you can see just how the retail industry has changed over the years in Canada. The days of making payments in cash only and waiting for your turn at the cash register are dying. And small businesses are growing rapidly thanks to current technology.

Customers are no longer carrying cash very often on their regular shopping trips, and they can be even more impatient if they have to wait in line to pay. Today, shopping in a supermarket can be a lot more entertaining compared to the past. The way today’s transactions are completed is a wonder. With plastic credit and debit cards and options like Touch-n-Go, quick, simple electronic payments are taking over.

Using technologies like NFC and RFID, even a credit card is not a necessity nowadays. Cell phones can provide easy swipe activated payment methods. According to Statista, mobile payment usage among global smartphone users was at 29 percent as of January 2013.

The Market Today

Giants in the industry are going head-to-head to come up with some of new and innovative ideas to attract more customers. Services such as Shopify are allowing business owners the ability to track all aspects of store performance right from an iPad. Freedom of this kind doesn’t just make the work easier, it also helps get the right product in the right place at the right time.

The total number of credit card transactions in the Canada alone totaled 26.2 billion in 2012, as stated by a 2013 Study. It is no wonder that payment processing partners like VISA and MasterCard are developing advanced payment systems and are working on ways to eliminate the very need to carry a wallet. The power of NFC (Near Field Communication) allows customers to access bank details right from their phone while getting the payment done with, and all the while taking care that the lines are secured for payment.

There is constant development and investment going into every single element of POS terminals. Information input and cloud integration are constantly being updated and improved. RFID systems today are able to calculate the worth of a cart before the customer even reaches the checkout counter. That is the kind of innovation you are getting to see.

The Elements of POS

In considering a Point of Sale system, you should know some of the various hardware elements. There are:

  • Touch screens or keyboards for input
  • Card Readers
  • Barcode Scanners
  • Receipt Printers
  • Cash drawers
  • RFID/NFC readers

This list is not exhaustive. A number of other add-ons exist in the market to help both you and your customer. An efficient POS system will not only speed up the entire billing process and make the work of the salesperson easier, it can also help you keep an eye on your inventory and sales history with live updates.

The changing economic system

Markets in Canada today have become much more competitive than they ever were. Prices are being set in the most competitive environments and the customer has a host of choices when it comes to picking their prefered shopping location. It is imperative that you do all you can to offer customers a unique and engaging shopping experience.

Some of the best names in the market are not only working on personalized service to repeat customers, but also on developing innovations in the realm of rewards and customer retention. From faster deliveries to free upgrades, shopping has never been this unique.

POS systems have provided innovations that have revolutionized the way payments are processed, the way customers purchase their items, and the way businesses are managed. With the need for cash and card diminished, there is a whole new world of possibilities available. With features like loyalty programs allowing customers to gather points for purchases and pay up using those accumulated points, there are a lot of options for businesses to reward and attract customers.

Massive investments are being made in the field of POS terminals in hopes of further improving the various capabilities of POS systems. The use of technologies like QR codes, NFC, and RFID has sped up the checkout process tremendously. Today, customers find themselves waiting in the queue for much less time than ever before . With the current rate of technological development, it might be that the time of fully automate POS systems is fast approaching. Perhaps some day in the near future, grocery stores and retail outlets will no longer have need of cashiers and customers can come and go as they please with automated digital wallets interfacing with the POS system for payment.

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