When it comes to choosing a financial planner, there are certain steps that you should take to make the process go as smoothly as possible and to make certain that you get the financial planner who will best suit your needs and give you the advice and help that you will need.
We’ll go through the steps one by one and by the time we are done, you will have all the information that you will need to make an informed choice about choosing a financial planner.
1. Figure out your goals
The first step in choosing a financial planner is to figure out what your goals are for your life and your finances. This will better assist any potential financial planners in figuring out how to best help you.
Do you want a college education? A comfortable retirement? Or something else?
2. Decide how to fill your needs
Next you should figure out how much financial planning help you will need, and whether a local office can help you or if you will need the services of a nationwide firm.
Remember, with a wider range of services comes a bigger price. Before you pay a lot of money to a big firm make sure that you are going to use their services to the fullest.
3. Ask for recommendations
Talk to your family and friends and see if there is anyone that they recommend. Before making your choice, talk to three different candidates and make certain that they take into account the debt that you have when they are creating the plan that they will have for you.
4. Check the credentials of candidates
Once you have interviewed the possible planners, you should look into their credentials and see what they have to offer.
If they are a certified financial planner, there are exams that they will have passed. Even if they aren’t certified, there may be areas of expertise that they offer like insurance and investing.
You can also contact American Financial Planners and get a list of credentials and where planners can receive them.
5. Find out the planner’s philosophy
Some financial planners strongly believe in investing, while others act more conservatively. Make certain that the financial planner that you choose is willing to take into account your comfort level and needs, since this is your money that will be affected.
6. Find out the bottom line
Before you choose a financial planner, find out exactly what the compensation will be for their services. Sometimes they sell financial planning products based on commission, while others will charge a flat fee.
They may be willing to negotiate with you if you tihnk that their price is too high in order to get your business.
7. Ask for references
Request references from other clients who have similar needs and goals as you have. If the planner is unwilling to offer them to you, go with someone else.
8. How will you keep in contact
Set up a schedule for talking to your financial planner and find out how you will be in contact with them. Finally, find out what will happen if your finances begin to drop, if you will need to contact them or if they will call you.