Financial Planners advise clients on how best to save, invest, and grow their money. They can help you tackle a specific financial goal—such as readying yourself to buy a house, making a strategy for retirement year or give you a macro view of your money and the interplay of your various assets. Some specialize in retirement planning or estate planning, while some others consult on a range of financial matters.
A financial plan can get you on a solid path toward your goals. But what if you don’t have the time, inclination or expertise to create and implement a plan on your own? Consider hiring a financial planner to assist you.
Choosing a Financial Planner!
Yes, It’s up to you to shop carefully for a financial planner you can trust.
But how do you choose the right financial planner for you?
Many planners offer an initial meeting at no charge, so you can get acquainted and determine if the planner is the right fit for your needs.
At the interview, ask the following questions and listen if the planner answers them forthrightly and keeps the focus on your goals and needs.
♦ How long has this individual been in practice? What types of clients does he or she typically work with? How are their situations similar to you?
♦ Does this person have experience in multiple areas—insurance, taxes, investments, estate planning? Does this person have experience in preparing ‘Comprehensive Financial Plan’? Does this person have experience in preparing ‘Modular Financial Plan’?
♦ What kinds of qualifications/credentials does he or she have? What about professional designations or certifications? Is he a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM? A CFP has passed a rigorous test administered by the Financial Planning Standards Board India about the specifics of personal finance.
♦ Does he use Financial Planning Process? A Financial Planning Process (Six Steps Process) that starts with your needs and goals, analyzes your specific situation before making recommendations and monitors the plan over time. Ask if the planner has clients similar to you.
♦ What is his or her educational background? What did he or she do before becoming a financial planner?
♦ What services are offered? Does the planner simply offer advice, or does he or she sell financial products as well?
♦ What is his or her philosophy when it comes to investing? Will this person carry out recommendations or refer you to someone else (attorneys, tax agents, insurance specialists)?
♦ Who else will work with you and your loved one? How many clients does the planner have? How many employees?
♦ How is the planner paid? By the hour? A flat fee for services? On commission? What is his fee for preparing ‘Comprehensive Financial Plan’? Ask for this in writing.
♦ Ask for a cost estimate, based on your loved one’s situation and what is required. How much do these services typically cost? How long will the process take?
♦ Will you be able to put the plan into effect without retaining the planner’s ongoing services?
♦ How does the planner keep up with changes in tax laws?
♦ What companies also stand to benefit from the planner’s recommendations? Is this individual “tied” to certain groups or financial products?
♦ Ask for a sample ‘Comprehensive Financial Plan’ or ‘Modular Financial Plan’ for another client facing some of the same issues.
[blockquote style=”1″]TIPS ~ Look for a financial adviser who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP). They’re licensed and regulated, plus take mandatory programs (4Es –Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics) on different aspects of financial planning.[/blockquote]
You want a financial planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
At the core of a financial planner-client relationship is trust. A qualified financial planner must earn your trust by proving competence, providing full disclosure and putting your interests first.
[blockquote style=”1″]”Trust, but verify.” ~Ronald Reagan[/blockquote]
I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM. For the moment, I have shared my experience growing up with you because it had a tremendous impacted on how I do what I do.
If you have a question about your own financial situation please connect with me.. I’d be delighted to try to be of service.