When your money goes to work, it might earn a steady paycheck. Someone pays you to use your money for a period of time. When you get your money back, you get it back plus interest. Your money can make an income just like you. You can make more money when both you and your money work.
Investment professionals offer a variety of services at a variety of prices. You can get investment advice from most financial institutions that sell investments, including brokerages, banks, mutual funds and insurance companies.
You can also hire a broker, an investment adviser, accountant, financial planner, or other professional to help you make investment decisions. Some financial planners and investment advisers offer a complete financial plan, assessing every aspect of your financial life and developing a detailed strategy for meeting your financial goals.
They may charge you a fee for the plan, a percentage of your assets that they manage, or receive commissions from the companies whose products you buy or a combination of these. You should know exactly what services you are getting and how much they will cost.
Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Professional financial advisers do not perform their services as an act of charity. If they are working for you, they are getting paid for their efforts. Some of their fees are easier to see immediately than are others.
But, in all cases, you should always feel free to ask questions about how and how much your adviser is being paid.
The best way to choose an investment professional is to start by asking your friends and colleagues who they recommend.