Do I need a financial professional?

Many people feel uncomfortable talking about finances. It may feel too personal, overly intimidating or culturally taboo. But working with a financial professional can help you better understand your finances and make plans for the future — and that’s just for starters. Along with valuable guidance, you may gain some peace of mind as you make progress toward your goals. Here are some of the benefits of working with a professional:

Setting goals
Your financial goals are as unique as you are, and that’s where most financial professionals start. What are you saving and investing for, now and in the long run? A financial professional can help you articulate these goals, creating a plan that defines your expectations, how you get there and where you may fall short.

Investment guidance
Financial professionals are generally knowledgeable about different kinds of investments and the moves to make in your specific situation. Some will give you recommendations for investments to manage yourself, but many manage investments for clients on an ongoing basis, earning a percentage of the portfolio assets each year in return.

Communication and information
Hiring a financial professional doesn’t mean giving up control. Many meet with clients at least once a year to talk about results and what’s ahead. The more you know about your investments, the more confident you’ll be about making adjustments, handling market shifts and asking the right questions over time.

That doesn’t mean all financial professionals are alike. When selecting one to work with, consider the following tips:

  • Make sure you know how they are paid. It could be commission, hourly rate or an annual percentage of your assets (typically 1% or less). Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics until you’re comfortable with the process.

  • Tell them how you prefer to communicate, and how often. It should be at least yearly to monitor annual performance, but you may want to meet more often depending on your needs or goals.

  • Check their credentials. Many professional designations require a financial professional to stay up on current strategies, rules and regulations. Additionally, FINRA’s BrokerCheck® is a good way to research professionals and their firms.

  • Be prepared to bring your most recent account statements (checking, savings, retirement, etc.), latest tax records, estate planning documents and information about all other assets, investments or income sources to your first meeting. But if your financial professional doesn’t start with your goals and what’s important to you, find one who does.


About us

Learn about Capital Group and find resources to get you started.

Who we are

One of the world's largest investment managers, we've helped investors succeed by remaining true to our values and approach. We believe in a distinctive way of managing money, an emphasis on research, a long-term view and the recognition of the power of relationships.

What we do

Capital Group offers a variety of investment options to help you pursue your objectives — including American Funds, one of the largest mutual fund families in the U.S.

Where to find our funds

Your financial professional can tell you more about American Funds. Or, you can purchase our funds yourself through an online broker.

Important questions to consider

When looking for professional guidance, knowing what to ask can make all the difference. Put these four questions at the top of your list.

  • How can you help me reach my unique financial goals?

  • How are you paid for your services?

  • What are your professional credentials?

  • Can you provide names of other clients like me as references?

The value of guidance

A financial professional can work with you to define your goals and create a plan to help make them a reality. From establishing a budget to selecting investments to riding out market shifts, they can help you make decisions based on your specific situation.

Looking for a financial professional?

Our locator tool can help you find professionals in your area.

Check the background of these investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

Statements attributed to an individual represent the opinions of that individual as of the date published and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capital Group or its affiliates. This information is intended to highlight issues and should not be considered advice, an endorsement or a recommendation.

All Capital Group trademarks mentioned are owned by The Capital Group Companies, Inc., an affiliated company or fund. All other company and product names mentioned are the property of their respective companies.

Use of this website is intended for U.S. residents only.

American Funds Distributors, Inc., member FINRA.

This content, developed by Capital Group, home of American Funds, should not be used as a primary basis for investment decisions and is not intended to serve as impartial investment or fiduciary advice.