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Financial advisers needed for the middle class in Colorado

Sometimes it seems that it you're not already wealthy, there are not a lot of investment firms willing to devote the time and manpower into helping your portfolio grow.

But recently there have been a plethora of new players on the scene that can help Colorado residents increase their net worth without taking needless risks that can break them financially.

Vanguard, an index fund, has begun offering low-cost financial planning and investment management services at only 0.3 percent annually of the total assets it manages. There is a $100,000 minimum, but word is they plan to halve that in the not so distant future.

Companies like Betterment build and manage investment portfolios, and it's not just 20-somethings with little financial savvy that are turning to them for a bit of financial hand-holding. Customers on the north end of 50 make up 20 percent of the company's assets and want to get advice on smart ways to withdraw their retirement money.

Venture capitalists and their ready cash are often drawn to promising start-ups and seem poised to respond to the gaps in the financial services industry. Neophyte investors still require considerable help sorting through their estate planning, insurance, investments, etc. Problems can arise if financial advisers cherry-pick their recommendations to favor those insurance and investment companies that compensate them through commissions, as these companies are not always the best choice for consumers. Often finding them some lower cost index funds that are offered by corporations that don't offer advisers commissions is a much better choice.

Newer companies like Betterment seek to learn what their customers' financial goals are and how much risk they can withstand without crumbling financially. Then, they devise portfolios of exchange-traded and index funds. They also offer advice when the markets are unstable and clients are unsure whether to bail or ride out the storm.

Before making any great changes in your financial status, it's a good idea to consult with a Colorado estate planning attorney who can advise you on the best course of action that will keep you solvent.

Source: The New York Times, "Financial Advice for People Who Aren’t Rich" Ron Lieber, Apr. 11, 2014

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