Too many people have the mistaken impression that only wealthy individuals need the services of a certified financial planner. Everyone has financial goals that they are trying to achieve; a financial planner is someone who can help you maximize how well your money works for you.
At every stage of life, you’ll be faced with many difficult financial decisions; few of us have the time to research every different financial choice. Additionally, our financial circumstances tend to become increasingly complex as we grow older.
A financial planner is your source of advice and experienced guidance through financial complexities.
A financial planner can help you find the best insurance for your stage of life, find you good long-term care coverage, and work with attorneys to plan your estate. Your planner will assist with long-term tax planning and keep your savings and budget on track.
It’s never too early to use a certified financial advisor to manage your finances. Retirement can seem something too far in the future to worry about now, but that time will come. From buying your first property to investing your money, the sooner you access good advice, the sooner you’ll reach your long-term goals.
If you are using a financial advisor already, then make sure you tell him or her which important changes have occurred since you met last. Whether it’s marriage, divorce, or having a child, these are all things that will influence the planner’s recommendations.
A word of caution, you should consider planners that you solicit first to avoid the risk of scams. Good financial planners don’t customarily reach out aggressively for new business.
The Arizona Better Business Bureau has an accredited business directory listing financial planning consultants.
The searchable database on the CF Board of Standards uses location, name, specialty, and other factors to make your search productive.
Don’t forget the benefits of networking; ask people who already have a planner to recommend someone.
It is important to know that your planner is certified. A credentialed financial planner has met professional standards and is held accountable.
Just enter the planner’s information on the CF Board of Standards certification check tool here. You’ll find out the financial planner’s certification status, if they’ve been disciplined, or even if they have declared bankruptcy in the last ten years.
Financial planners are compensated in several ways, some better for your needs than others.
The fee-based model of compensation pays the financial planner a percentage of your portfolio annually. Essentially, the planner’s income is tied to how well your money is performing.
You can pay the advisor by the hour; this could be best if you have a few assets.
Commission based compensation is when the planner is paid by the financial product companies; it can result in a conflict of interest.
If the planner sells insurance products as well, he may use a mixed commission and fee-based model.
Be sure to educate yourself, and you’ll make the best choice for your situation.
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