Tips on Choosing a Financial Planner
A financial planner can be an invaluable advisor to you as you work towards your financial goals and dreams. A good financial advisor can act as the quarterback for your team of advisors, working with your tax advisor, insurance agent, etc. to make sure the different parts of your financial plan are working together find Bussines Marketing in my area.
Most people could use some help keeping their financial house in order. When should you hire a financial advisor? Some people hire financial planners only when they need advice about a specific issue such as saving for college, paying down debt, or evaluating an early retirement offer. Others hire a financial planner to complete a comprehensive plan and monitor that plan on an annual basis. No matter what your reason is for hiring a financial planner, one of the greatest advantages of working with a financial expert is the added motivation you’ll have to achieve your financial goals.
One concern with hiring a financial professional is that anyone can call themselves a financial advisor. Unlike lawyers and CPAs – where you have to take an exam and have specific training before you can hold yourself out as a CPA or an attorney – there are no such requirements before you can call yourself a financial planner.
However, there are some designations in the financial planning field that help distinguish experienced, trained financial professionals from others who may not have any qualifications. Some of the designations to look for include:
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) – to be a CFP, you must meet an education requirement which shows that you are knowledgeable in all areas of financial planning, you must pass an exam, and you must have three years of relevant experience before you can hold yourself out as a CFP. CFPs must also abide by a Code of Ethics which are enforced by the CFP Board.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) – A CFA is a title given to someone who has passed an exam about investments and finance administered by the Financial Analysts Federation.
PFS – CPAs who have several years of experience providing financial planning for individuals can attain the PFS designation. CPAs who also have the PFS designation have extensive tax and financial planning experience, so they are a good choice for people with complex tax situations.
You should contact and interview several financial advisors before hiring one. Some questions you should ask include how are you compensated, do you have an area of specialty, do you have clients similar to me, how long have you been providing financial advice, etc.
Working with a Fee Only Financial Planner
You don’t have to be rich to work with a financial planner. Many people hire financial planners to help them achieve their financial goals and dreams, whether they have a million dollars or just a few thousand dollars saved. You’d be surprised at the number of people who have turned to financial advisors for help with retirement planning, investment advice, budgeting and debt management, tax planning and/or comprehensive financial planning.