Finding the Perfect Financial Planner

Thu, Feb 9, 2012

General Legal Issues

Financial Planners in Florida

We are all saving our pennies these days. So, do not let that hard work be for nothing–make sure you save your money wisely! One of the best ways to do this is through financial planning. Financial planners help you create an investment blueprint, with both long- and short-term goals. SmithLaw has seen how a little time and money spent now provides long-lasting peace of mind and financial freedom for a lifetime.

What types of financial advice can financial planners give? Financial planners provide you with investing, retirement, college savings, and other financial advice. Many can advise on insurance and tax matters. The AICPA (American Institute of CPAs) has lists of CPAs that are also skilled financial planners–this might be of special interest to those with tax considerations.  While interviewing advisors, make sure you ask them the full range of services they offer, so you know which professional works best for your needs.

Where do you find a reputable financial planner? Two good organizations to start with are the CFP Board (Certified Financial Board of Standards) and the CFA Institute (The Global Association of Investment Professionals). Using their search functions will assist you in finding certified and approved financial planners, giving you more peace of mind that your financial planner has your best interests at heart. Complaints against planners are also listed on these sites, so you can double-check your choices.

How should you choose a financial planner? Make sure you choose a certified planner you feel comfortable working with and divulging personal information to. It might be wise to choose a planner whose typical client base reflects your financial circumstances, since they will be able to offer the best advice for someone in your financial situation. In addition, good planners ask multiple questions in order to get the most relevant information to help you with investment advice. So, make sure the financial planner does get a little personal and asks you about your family and other factors that might affect your investing. This also includes questions asked to determine your investment risk tolerance. This is one of the most important things for an advisor to know about you–so they can steer you towards investments that work with your personality and comfort zone. Basically, you need to choose a financial planner that you feel comfortable talking to and that doesn’t make you feel like you are just paying to listen to them talk.

What types of financial planners should you be wary of?  Avoid planners that will not divulge specific information about what companies they might receive compensation from. The best types of planners make money by advising you of the best investments for you, and not from representing specific companies they steer you towards in exchange for commission. You want to find a financial planner that is well liked in the community and has a good track record. Asking friends and family is always a good idea when seeking recommendations. Be wary of investment professionals that just come to town for special events. In addition, most planners will have professional references and client references that they can share with you. Do not be afraid to ask!

Almost anyone could use a financial check up, not just seniors or the very rich. Good financial planning can help prevent debts, bankruptcy, and other financial problems. It also provides the peace of mind that you are preparing for your future and providing for your future. Even an hour with a good financial planner could provide information and tips to last a lifetime.

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