In contrast to someone who calls himself a CPA or a doctor, just about anyone can call themselves a “financial planner” or a “financial adviser “, regardless of their educational background and work experience. Moreover, not all of them are unbiased in their advice and not all always act in the best interests of their clients.
To ensure your financial planner is well qualified in personal finance and impartial in its opinion, the following five things to consider:
1. Planning Credentials: Having a highly valued references in financial planning, such as Certified financial Planner (CFP) or Personal financial Specialist (PFS) confirms that the professional you intend to work with the training and experience necessary to serve as a financial planner acquired. CFP, PFS credentials are granted to only those individuals who have met the certification requirements of education and experience in planning personal finances. Furthermore, they must pass the certification exams and agree to abide by the standards of practice and continuing education requirements.
2. Subject Matter Expertise: Financial planners are planning professionals, not necessarily subject matter experts. For example, a financial planner will be proficient in fiscal analysis and planning, but unlike a Certified Public Account (CPA) or IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) that he might not necessarily be a subject matter expert when it comes to tax rules Also he qualified in chalking could be an investment, but unlike a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) it should not be an authority in the field of investment. Working with a financial planner who is also a subject matter expert in the areas of personal finance that are important in achieving your financial goals.
3. Client Specialization: Not all financial planners serve all types of customers. Most specialize in serving only certain types of customers with specific profiles. For example, a personal planner to build up expertise and to adapt its services to only those individuals and families in certain occupations, or a particular phase of life with specific financial goals and wealthy serve. Ask whether the planner specializes in serving only certain types of customers with specific profiles to determine whether he is the right fit for your situation and financial goals.
4. Tariff: The tariff structure largely determines whose interests it serves the best – of his client or his own. A Fee-Only professional expenses only fees for their advice, while a fee-based professional, not only charges fees, but also earns commissions, referral fees and other financial incentives on the products and solutions they recommend for you. Consequently, the advice of a fee-only is more likely impartial and in your interest not to have the advice of a fee-based financial planner. Work with a professional whose fee structure is conflict-free and aligned to benefit you.
5. Availability: He or she must regularly available, attentive and accessible to you. Ask the planner how many customers it currently serves and the maximum number of clients that he intends to serve regularly in the future. The customer-to-planner relationship is one of the most important factors in assessing the availability of your planner in the future you. Also ask which planning activities normally performed by the planner and those delegated to a para-planner or other junior staff. Finally, make sure that the planner is easily accessible by telephone and email during normal business hours.
If you have a few well qualified and impartial financial planners in your area have short listed, ask those who offer a free initial consultation first. During the initial consultation, assesses the availability planner and other professional attributes you need in your financial planner.
Having a well qualified and impartial financial planner at your side is extremely important in your journey toward your financial goals. When looking for one, consider professional credentials of the planner, client specialization, knowledge, pricing, and availability to choose the right financial planner for your needs.