The Value of a Financial Advisor

Beshear Financial

Photo provided by Northwestern Mutual

In years like 2015 when the market provides little or no return, there are often articles written presenting a case as to why a financial advisor is necessary, given the cost. These articles can build a compelling case, but they typically assume a financial advisor’s sole responsibility is managing money.

In recent years, both Vanguard and Morningstar developed a standard numeric rating system to communicate the value of any particular financial advisor. Morningstar calls this Gamma and Vanguard calls this Advisor Alpha. Both companies have come to the conclusion that the value of an advisor can be a significant boost to returns and long-term net worth. 

According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2016 Planning and Progress Study, 28 percent of Americans worry about their finances every day, only validating the need for a competent advisor who can help increase overall monetary worth. And yet, nearly seven in 10 Americans (68 percent) say they do not have a trusted advisor who offers comprehensive lifetime financial planning.

A few key benefits of a financial advisor:

1. Encouragement for appropriate saving, spending and discipline.

2. Ideation/brainstorming/white-boarding goals and dreams to inspire clients to realize and understand what their best future looks like.

3. A written financial plan that includes projections, tracking and accountability for life goals, such as education for children and retirement. 

4. Behavior coaching to ensure that investment strategy is driven by logic rather than emotion, especially in times of market turmoil.

5. Coordinates with tax advisor to help ensure the financial plan and investments are efficient.

6. A dynamic retirement withdrawal strategy that ensures assets are liquidated in the right sequence, in the correct amount and in the appropriate tax bracket.

7. Creates dialogue and clarity by coordinating professionals to establish the right estate plan.

8. Family planning and coaching designed to make sure that money, as well as family values, pass to the next generation.

9. Review, coordination and implementation of insurance and risk management.

10. Cost and fee management associated with investments.

11. Portfolio construction, securities selection and rebalancing.

As you can see in this list, portfolio construction, securities selection and rebalancing made up only one portion. Although it is critically important that your investments are managed strategically, that is only one aspect of the story. Through a full picture financial plan, you can do so much more.  


Northwestern Mutual is the marketing arm of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee and its subsidiaries. Ben Beshear is a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual.

This article was prepared by wealth management advisor Ben Beshear with the cooperation of Northwestern Mutual.  Beshear is an insurance agent of Northwestern Mutual in Cincinnati.  Northwestern Mutual Cincinnati is located at 3805 Edwards Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209. You can reach them at 513.366.3600, email or visit website

Northwestern Mutual is an arm of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, and its subsidiaries.

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