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How to Choose the Right Financial Planner

Updated on August 22, 2016

How to choose the right financial planner

Financial planners render advice to clients on how best to save, grow and invest their money. A financial advisor can help you achieve specific financial goal. Some of the financial experts specialize in estate or retirement planning while others are financial consultants.

Planners or advisors are not stock brokers. They are also different from accountants or insurance agents.

Anyone may address himself as a financial planner, but that does not make them one. The certified financial planner (CFP) is the most important certificate for an adviser. Although the certificate is a good sign that the holder can give sound advice. Still, it is not all who pass exams that are up to the skills and credibility. Because money is involved, you need to choose right.

Reason for using a financial planner

You can likely do it yourself when it comes to money management, the same way you can repair your autos yourself. DIY is brilliant, but it may not worth the time and effort.

Locating the best financial adviser

CFP is an immediate signal of credibility but it is not a guarantee. You may need to ask people for the suggestion about one if they can recommend one. If you are with kids, request for a suggestion from a friend with children, if you just get through college, ask from a single friend. If you want to get a planner with success stories with respect to your level, make inquiries from people of your status.

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) can be consulted for leads. These practitioners charge fees only, meaning they only charge their client as their source of revenue. They do not accept commissions and act in the interest of the client at all times. The standards of NAPFA meet or surpass the CFP requirements

Another good way is through the Gareth planning network. A group of CFP pledges themselves to an hourly fee instead of a fixed amount.

Consider the pay structure: try to avoid commission-based advisers.

Look for a fiduciary: these are planners that have pledged to act in your best interest. Those who are not fiduciary are called sustainability standard and they are usually held to a lesser standard. Our CPA firm in Maryland is Fiduciary

Run a background check on your planner: seek information about the antecedents of your planned planner.

Beware of market-beating brags: in your first meeting with the adviser, if you hear predictions of market-beating performance. Kindly work away because no one can make such guarantees


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