HOW TO WORK WITH A FINANCIAL PLANNER
WANT A FINANCIAL PLAN?
THEN WORK WITH A FINANCIAL PLANNER
As a Financial Planner, I am often asked: How much money do I need to work with you OR do you require a minimum amount of assets? It’s easy to understand why that question is asked so often. Traditionally, the financial services industry has placed a greater emphasis on what money/assets you have now vs. what you are trying to build and/or will have in the future. Often times, there is less focus on strategic and goals-based planning. Well, this is changing. True financial planning is about helping individuals make better financial decisions to achieve their personal financial goals. This includes creating a better understanding of employee benefits, investment strategies, estate planning, risk management, tax planning, and of course, personal and financial planning.
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional helps people to identify and prioritize their goals; create roadmaps and blueprints to guide them and check in with them to monitor their progress. In short, financial planners act as your personal Chief Financial Officer. Job One is placing client’s interests first.
So, let me break it down in a language that might help to explain the differences in the professions and their expertise:
Financial Advisor: broad based, usually assigned by a company/corporate partner. Helps individuals identify assets and assigns specific assets to goals.
Investment Advisor: Expertise in Investments: Risk Profiling, Investment policy Statements, Asset Allocation Recommendations, Risk Profiling and Rebalancing Strategies.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) mark: Includes all of the above – Financial and Investment Advisor roles PLUS Strategic and Goals based planning – including tax and estate planning, investments, risk management/protection strategies, retirement and lifestyle management.
When it's all said and done, you'll need to determine what platform best fits your needs. All of the above mentioned are professionals, who have met certain levels of training and must complete specific continuing educational requirements. What’s most important is what you need and how the financial professional will work with you.
In addition, be sure to do a background check on your financial professional. Here are two sites that you should visit to learn more about the financial professional you are either currently working with or are planning to work with. You simply need to put in the advisor's name and location. Here you will be able to view their history, current employment status, licensing and registration information and most importantly, view if there are any disclosures such as consumer complaints and/or regulatory violations:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION SITE
At the end of the day, working with a financial professional can assist in meeting your financial goals. Just do your homework first and make sure you've picked the right professional to work with.