June 20, 2018
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Choosing the Right Financial Planner

The process of finding the right financial planner who will meet your needs can be confusing for some people. You may feel like you don't have enough money to even think about seeking help, but don't be discouraged. Even if you're just starting out and want to gather information on how to secure and build your future financially, making contact with a certified financial planner is a step in the right direction. Here are some pointers in choosing one:

  • Remember your goal-find someone you can trust and who listens to and understands your financial goals.
  • Where to look. Some own their own businesses, while others may work in a large practice. Also, some commercial banks or investments firms have financial planners on staff.
  • Word of Mouth. One of the best ways to find a trusted planner is through family and friends.
  • Check credentials. Many professionals in the field use the term financial planner. Make sure the person you find is really qualified for the job. Here are some designations they may have, depending on their training:
    • CFP - Certified Financial Planner
    • CPA-PFS - Personal Financial Specialist
    • ChFC - Chartered Financial Consultant

Financial planners should receive extensive training and pass tests to be accredited by a recognized program. Some specialize in areas such as investments, taxes, insurance, or retirement.

  • Check experience. Find out how long they've been working. Look for one that has a good amount of experience.
  • Ask about fees. You definitely need to know how they're paid. Some are hourly, while others charge a fee based on a percentage of what is managed. Initial consultations are typically free.
  • Note their communication style. Is this someone you can work with and understand? Find someone you are comfortable with and can ask questions. Make sure they understand your tolerance for risk and will make decisions based on it.



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