A financial planner is a professional who helps you organize your finances, projects the results of your savings and investments so you can see how well prepared you are for retirement, children higher education, buying your dream home, foreign vacation, buying car and helps you make decisions with your money that will help you reach your financial goals as efficiently as possible.
The term “Financial Planner” and “Financial Advisor” typically mean the same thing. But certainly not all financial planners or financial advisors are alike.
The level of education, training and experience that a professional has will make a big difference in the quality of the advice you receive.
Some people do their own financial planning, and others look for professional assistance.
Making quality financial decisions requires a commitment to learn and research. Of course, the web or internet’s easy access to information has made it possible for almost everyone to think they can outperform Warren Buffett, richest man in the world, but the fact is that personal finance is a difficult and multi-dimensional area to navigate alone.
Think of it this way. Just imagine!
You know that a desktop computer consists of a CPU, a monitor, a keyboard and mouse. And that the CPU comes with a motherboard and assorted other doodads, the names of which you can’t remember offhand. You know all these elements are available in the open market – of good quality and at good price.
Does this mean that you can assemble a working desktop computer?
Doesn’t it make more sense, and isn’t it cheaper than going to a shop and picking up a computer that’s been put together by experts?
No, it doesn’t because try as you may, you would not be able to get it right.
It’s the same with your financial plan.
An experienced financial planner can usually help improve the quality of the financial decisions you make. If you’re considering hiring professional help you’ll need to know what to expect from a good financial planner, and how to tell the difference between a sales person, and someone who offers fiduciary financial planning advice and carries a valid certification or designation. Hiring the right professional planner starts by understanding what financial planning is, and knowing what to expect of the person you might hire.
What Is Financial Planning?
Financial planning is the process of defining your financial goals, such as knowing when you will need to use your money, and what you will be using it for, and then laying out a plan of action with specific steps you need to take to achieve those goals.
To give good advice a financial planner must gather personal and financial data about you. They use this data to create projections that show you when and how you can accomplish your goals. These projections are based on a set of realistic assumptions about inflation, investment returns, how much you can save, and how much you will earn and spend.
If you interview a financial planner who begins talking about a specific investment or product without first gathering data about you and putting together projections for you, then likely you are talking with someone functioning as sales person rather than as a financial planning professional.
It is advisable to hire a professional CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM to make your “Comprehensive Financial Plan” which is a 60 -70 pages written report.
The plan must be monitored and reviewed periodically so adjustments can be made, if necessary, to assure that it continues to move you toward your financial goals. Those seeking a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM (CFPCM) career are held to high standards of education, experience and ethics.
In my opinion, choose a financial planner for the quality of advice they provide based on their track record or referrals.
Actually, anyone who wants to have a comfortable financial life should get professional advice.
Do they charge fees for it?
Just like you pay a doctor or charted accountant or lawyer for their services, it makes sense to pay a financial planner to get high quality advice and service.
This is better than losing a portion of your wealth due to incompetent and poor advice.
[blockquote style=”1″]”A penny saved is a penny earned.” – Benjamin Franklin[/blockquote]
I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM. For the moment, I have shared my experience growing up with you because it had a tremendous impact 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.
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