When picking a financial advisor, investors have many options. You can work with an independent advisor or one from a major investment company. Since you already have a bank that you know and trust, some investors ask, “Do banks have financial advisors?” In this article, you’ll learn if banks offer investment advice, the benefits of working with a bank financial advisor and whether you should work with one or not.
For help finding an advisor, use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service.
What Is a Financial Advisor?
A financial advisor provides financial services and advice to investors to help them achieve their goals. You may come across many different types of financial advisors, each with different acronyms or titles that you may not be familiar with. For example, a financial advisor may have a CFP (certified financial planner) designation or may be an RIA (registered investment advisor).
Each of these financial professionals can help with basic investment strategies. However, some are better suited than others for unique situations based on their education, experience, licensing and certifications. Additionally, the organization they work for may provide additional resources and training that help them stand out against their competition.
Do Banks Have Financial Advisors That Offer Free Financial Advice?
Most investors think of their bank for deposit accounts, loans and other banking services. Some banks also offer investments and insurance products to their clients. This one-stop approach enables customers to handle all of their money needs under one roof. And it helps the bank to protect their clients from leaving for another financial institution.
Not all banks have financial advisors, while other banks may offer you free financial advice under certain circumstances. While most large banks offer full-service products for banking, lending, investing and insurance, other banks may not. In some cases, the banks partner with other financial services companies to refer clients away from the competition.
Even when a bank has financial advisors, these employees may work for a sister company, not the bank itself. For example, if you bank at Bank of America, investment products are sold through Merrill.
Pros and Cons of Working With a Bank Financial Advisor
There are many benefits of working with a bank financial advisor. However, there are downsides to consider as well. Understand the pros and cons of bank financial advisors before selecting your advisor.
- Conveniently located inside a branch
- Relationship pricing on deposit and loan products
- All your assets are “under one roof” which makes them easier to track
- Advisors may be limited on the products they sell
- Could steer you to company products that are inferior or higher cost
- May not work outside “banker’s hours”
Should I Work With a Bank Financial Advisor?
Whether or not you work with a bank financial advisor depends on what your bank offers and what you’re looking for. Finding a bank financial advisor can be as simple as walking into your local branch. However, what if you don’t mesh with their personality or you have unique needs that are beyond their experience or training?
Working with a bank financial advisor can save you money on your banking and loan products. Many banks look at your total relationship to waive monthly fees on your bank accounts or offer discounts on loans. Depending on your banking needs, these savings can be dramatic. But are they worth it?
The bank may limit which financial products its advisors can sell. In some cases, they may only be allowed to sell “house” products offered by that financial institution. While those products can be good, they may not be the best for your particular situation.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve ever wondered if banks have financial advisors, the answer is that it depends. Many banks offer investment and insurance products through financial advisors that are part of an affiliated company. However, smaller banks do not offer investments. In those cases, they refer clients to local advisors whom they’ve built an informal relationships with. Working with a bank financial advisor can be convenient and customers often receive additional benefits, such as relationship pricing on other bank products. When choosing a financial advisor, consider the pros and cons.
Tips for Investing in a Diversified Portfolio
- Financial advisors recommend having a diversified portfolio to minimize risk in your investments. Investing in a variety of assets allows you to benefit, no matter which sector of the market is performing the best. Our asset allocation calculator provides guidance on which asset classes to invest in based on your answers to a few, simple questions.
- Investing on your own can be difficult, but a financial advisor can help with this. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
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