Unlike an individual calling himself a physician or a CPA, any person can call themselves a financial advisor or a financial planner regardless of their professional experience and education background. Additionally, not all of them have unbiased advice, and not all of them have the best interest of their clients at heart. To ascertain that the financial planner you get is well qualified in impartial and personal finance advice, consider the things discussed below.
Having the top regarded credentials in financial planning like Personal Financial Specialist or Certified Financial Planner confirms that the expert you want to work with has the experience and education needed in servicing as a financial planner. These credentials are usually awarded to the people who have met the certification need of experience and training in planning personal finances. Also, they must pass the certification exams and agree to adhere to the practice principles and continuing education needs.
Financial planners are planning experts, not necessarily subject matter professionals. For instance, financial planners will be skilled in tax planning and analysis, but dissimilar to IRS enrolled agents or a Certified Public Accountants, he might not mainly be a subject matter expert when it comes to taxation procedures. Also, he could be skilled in coming up with investment tasks though he may not be an authority in matters of investments.
Not all financial planners will serve all kinds of clients. Most of them specialize in service a specific type of clients with particular profiles. For instance, personal planners can build expertise and customize their services in serving only the families and individuals who are in specific professionals, or a particular stage of life with articular net worth or financial goals. You must ask if the planner specialized in serving certain kinds of clients with a specific profile to establish whether they are the best fit for your financial goals or situation.
The fee structure given will determine whether the professional serves the interests of clients or his own. A fee-only expert will charge fees for advice only while the fee-based one will not only charge the costs but will also earn referral fees commissions and other financial incentives on solutions and products they recommend to you. Subsequently, the advice given by the fee-only one is most probably unbiased and in the best interest of clients that the help of the fee-based financial planners. You should work with the professional whose fee structure is free of conflict and well-aligned to benefit you.
The ideal financial planner should be regularly accessible, attentive, and available to you. You should ask the planner the number of clients they currently serve and the maximum clients’ number they plan to help in the future regularly. The clients-to-planner ratio is among the significant factors of assessing the availability of the planner to you in future encounters. Also, enquire about the planning activities that are handled by the expert and those that are given to the para-planner or the other junior staff. Finally, make sure that the planner can be accessed easily via email or phone during the regular working hours.
Having an unbiased and well qualified financial planner on your side is very important in the journey to attaining financial goals. When looking for one, think of the credentials of the professional planner, the client specialization, the fee structure, subject matter expertise, and the availability to choose the right financial planner for your requirements.