Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Where to Turn for Help with Investments

What Services Do You Want?

The search for the right investment services provider starts with the answer to a seemingly simple question - what services are you looking for? Investment services fall into three broad categories:

These services are related. Some firms offer all three under one roof, while others specialize in just one or two.

So how do you know what is right for you?
You may want an investment adviser to provide ongoing oversight and management of your portfolio of securities. You may simply want a broker to help you with the mechanics of buying and selling securities. Or you may want a financial planner to look at your entire financial picture - including insurance, taxes, estate planning, as well as investments - and come up with a long-term, comprehensive financial plan.

Defining what services you want will help you decide which investment services provider is right for you.

Source: The Coalition on Investor Education

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