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How to Find a Financial Planner

Updated on March 13, 2008

Personal Finances

It can be hard to manage your finances properly to that in which you would prefer. The best option would be to higher a financial planner to help you obtain and hold your goals for your assets and liabilities.

You want to make sure that you can pay for your child's college tuition, while managing you own mortgage, insurance, and stocks. Why stress yourself out more than you should, when you can hire help.

Your financial planner will help you refine your financial goals and help you find ways to manage your finances and assets. You just want to make sure that you pick the right person who will be in control of your finances.

Find a Financial Planner

If you're not starting from a friend's reference, you can check the yellow pages for a Financial Planner or the internet. Make sure that you see the initials C.F.P. (Certified Financial planner) after the name or business.

Make a list of a few names, addresses, and numbers, and then check with the National Association of Financial Planners for referrals.

You may want to take your list to coworkers and ask around. Maybe they have a better planner or just have a good referral for one of the names on your list.

Once, you think you have your planner, you'll want to either call or make an appointment to ask about a few questions.

  1. Ask how he charges and howhe gets paid. Is it a fee only, fee base or commission.
  2. Ask what his credentials are.
  3. Ask about his experience.
  4. Ask what, if any, services are provided; consider the difference between planning and preparation.
  5. Ask how often he sees his clients.
  6. Ask if the financial planning includes recommendations.
  7. Ask how much, if any, he will get in terms of commission from your assets.
  8. Ask for two or three references.
  9. Ask if he/she has any questions for you.

Once you're happy with the planner and his fees and goals with your management. You'll want to make a list of short and long term financial obligations that you want your financial planner to help you manage.

Gather up all of your documents, lists of assets and liabilities, and a list of financial goals. You'll want to take these to your financial planner, who will set up a plan and help you manage.

5 Tips for Finding a Financial Planner

  • Interview at least three different financial planners before you decide which one will work best for you and your money and finances.
  • Check for references from friends, coworkers, and family.
  • If you're looking at small time or first finances (first house, etc.), you'll want to look for planners whose clients are not of big time finances, as they'll expect big fees and you'll be less of a priority because you'll be on the small scale.
  • You can always start with the Financial Planning Association (800-322-4237) to search by location or specialty.
  • Check credential potential financial planners with CFP Board of Standards.


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      Debra  9 years ago

      Great information! In order to avoid mistakes in finding a financial planner, we need to investigate and ask, ask and ask before we even decide to take one.