A financial consultant or financial advisor is an independent professional that offers financial advice to clients according to their financial condition. In most countries, financial consultants must complete certain training and be accredited with a regulatory body to give professional advice. They are consulted by individual entrepreneurs, businessmen, stock market investors and international corporate groups. They can also be called upon by other agencies for providing expert advice, which may include buying or selling shares in a company. Financial advisers can also work for governmental bodies like the government, large companies, and non-profit organizations.
Financial Advisors enjoys a high level of prominence because they have tremendous influence over various sectors of the economy. As such, they are very important to both the private sector and the public sector. For instance, major banks and brokerage houses have financial advisors as employees. These employees help the banks and other financial institutions plan various measures for managing money. The main objectives of these professionals are to help financial institutions make sound investments so that they can prosper both as businesses and as consumers.
There are two types of financial advisors, namely, full-service advisors and fee-based advisors. Full-service financial advisors provide comprehensive advice on a variety of financial matters such as investment strategies, retirement accounts, mortgages, pensions, corporate bonds, and money market products. They usually work in tandem with brokers and stockbrokers. On the other hand, fee-only financial advisors provide advising services for a set fee, usually on a contingency basis. A typical fee-based advisor will help a client selects a suitable investment option, purchase a security or a bond, or arrange for corporate financing.