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What is the Role of a Financial Advisor in Your Life?

Bhuvanaa Shreeram
Bhuvanaa Shreeram Co Founder, House of Alpha.Member of 1 Finance Advisory Committee, Mumbai Chapter

31 March 2024 5 min read
What is the Role of a Financial Advisor in Your Life?

“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” George Shinn

The wealth creation journey is never a solo journey. A whole host of influencers play a part in the various decisions we all make. Family & friends, influencers on the internet, colleagues and bosses, your long-standing chartered accountants or insurance advisors, robo advisors and even the new age professional financial advisors and wealth managers. Everyone has a role to play. 

In this article, we will explore when and where each of these influencers plays the most important part. And when does it really make sense for you to reach out for professional advice, if at all.

Foundation Phase: Early-stage career decisions

The beginning of your financial journey begins with the career choices you make. What you study, where you work, etc. determines how much you will earn. This is the foundation for any amount of wealth you are likely to build in your life. This decision is influenced by family, older siblings or cousins, friends, and lately, career counsellors. The entry of professionals in this stage adds an element of science and method to this otherwise ‘shoot in the dark’ decision-making.

Early career Phase: Getting the basics right

As you find your way around in your chosen career, money starts flowing in and you start making decisions on lifestyle and expenses. This is a crucial time as decisions made now have a long-term impact. These decisions are influenced by colleagues and peers.  Families can provide emotional support and act as a sounding board for major financial decisions. Just good habits like maintaining budgets, managing credit well, getting some insurance, and investing regularly can set you on the right path. Influencers on the internet, robo advisors and peers are significant influencers at this stage. A well-meaning financial advisor at this stage can show you the bigger picture, the longer term picture and seed in you the framework for smart decision making.

Growth Phase: Maximise and Optimise

A few years into working and you are moving up the career ladder, money becomes serious. ESOPs and bonuses are significant amounts. With marriage and children happening around the same time, responsibilities also increase and the stakes just get higher. At this stage, friends and peers would not be much of an influence, as everyone’s life takes off in different trajectories. The need for a plan that is suited for you keeping in mind your desires, ambitions, fears and constraints in mind would be just what you need. DIY, robo advisors may provide limited help as all they would be able to do is run the numbers and provide some options. Scouting for and signing up with a trusted financial advisor who listens, has sound knowledge, and provides end-to-end service will be a great investment.

Consolidation Phase: Safeguarding and Transitioning

In the later stages, as you approach your goals and retirement, wealth preservation and simplifying take centre stage. You will need to craft a cost and tax-efficient withdrawal plan that will provide for regular cash flows to manage expenses while protecting the capital. A well thought through estate plan ensures a smooth transfer of wealth to those the money should go to. Family involvement will be essential in discussions regarding inheritance and legacy planning. Technology, through online platforms and digital tools, facilitates the organisation of financial documents and streamlines the estate planning process. However, understanding lifestyle needs, risk tolerance, family requirements, and legacy aspirations necessitates the intervention of a human financial advisor.

Enjoyment Phase: Embracing Financial Freedom

The ultimate goal of wealth creation is to relish and enjoy financial freedom. Many people who have worked hard, maintained budgets and built their wealth little by little find it difficult to loosen their purse strings even after they become financially free. They refuse to graduate and keep the mindset of someone still in the accumulation phase. Families play an instrumental role in encouraging enjoyment of the fruits of financial success together. Communication and collaboration within the family become key to aligning lifestyle choices with available resources. Technology, through various financial apps and platforms, aids in budgeting and managing expenses. The complexity of financial decisions during retirement and withdrawal strategies often requires the personalised touch of a financial advisor to ensure a sustainable and worry-free financial future

The human financial advisor and the roles they play:

Collaboration: As your financial journey progresses, the collaborative phase emerges, where the roles of financial advisors, family, and technology intersect. Modern financial planning often involves utilising a hybrid approach, leveraging both human expertise and digital tools. Financial advisors harness the power of technology to analyse data, model scenarios, and provide more nuanced insights.

Critical life decisions: Despite the plethora of resources available, individuals may encounter points in time when they have to make critical life decisions that may have a large financial impact, viz. changing jobs, moving countries, buying assets, etc. Complex tax situations, legal intricacies in estate planning, and personalised investment strategies are instances where the depth of human insight surpasses the capabilities of automated solutions.

Future-Proofing Your Financial Journey: In an era where technology continues to evolve, and family dynamics undergo transformations, future-proofing your financial journey involves a dynamic approach. Periodic check-ins with a financial advisor can help recalibrate strategies in response to changes in personal circumstances, market conditions, and financial goals.

In conclusion, the wealth creation journey is a dynamic and evolving process that involves a delicate balance between human expertise, familial support, and technological efficiency. While DIY platforms and robo-advisors contribute significantly, a financial advisor remains an invaluable asset, guiding you through complexities, providing emotional intelligence, and ensuring your financial journey stands resilient against the test of time and change. 

Recognize the strengths of each channel, collaborate wisely, and embrace the holistic approach to wealth creation for a prosperous and secure financial future.

Please note,

The views in the article /blog are personal and that of the author. The idea is to create awareness and not intended to provide any product recommendations.


Discover your MoneySign®

Identify the personality traits and behavioural patterns that shape your financial choices.