9 Tips for Finding a Financial Planner

You have finally decided to consult a financial planner. All along, you knew that this was the best decision for you to make, but just like everyone else, you had no idea where to start. The amount of financial information you can get out there is infinite. Unfortunately, not all of it is correct, and even that which is accurate may not work for you. If you are at the crossroads, here are some practical tips.

Understand Financial Planning

Smart planning can make a considerable difference in your life and that of your beneficiaries. By making improved financial decisions over time, you can increase retirement income drastically. However, there is a variance between investing and planning. If you interview an expert and they get into finding you an investment rather than developing a financial plan, they might not make good advisers.

Get a Recommendation

While this is one of the oldest ways of landing a good financial planner, it is by far one of the best. Personal recommendation beats other methods because it is a sure-fire way of getting a qualified adviser. The only limitation will be if the informant is insincere. So, ask for a recommendation from a trustworthy person.

Find out if the Expert is Authorized

Before you do business with the financial planner, make sure they are licensed. All financial advisers should be registered by the Financial Conduct Authority. Getting someone who has been given clearance by the regulating body assures you that the individual will offer top notch services.

Review Qualifications

Research and find out the type of expert that would suit you best. The designations usually sound impressive, but they are easy to get. As a client, your concern is to find someone qualified to give you the guidance you desire. Besides, you will receive counsel from them, and you would not be happy to follow dubious advice.

What is Their Experience?

Qualifications are vital, and so is an experience. Financial planners get better with every client they serve. Although there is no general rule as to how much experience a good planner should have, get someone with a good portfolio.

Find a Local Planner

This is not to mean that you should not board a plane to get the best financial planning there is. However, if you can find a qualified adviser near you, they will serve you better. An expert who lives within your state is likely to understand the economic dynamics of your environment more than one who is miles away. You can also contact them easily whenever you need some quick advice.

Find out How the Adviser is Compensated

Ideally, the mode of compensation should not affect the quality of guidance that an adviser gives. Unfortunately, this is not the case out here. So, you should understand what motivates a planner because he or she might be biased. Experts paid on a commission basis are inclined to offering quality because they know that their paycheck depends on that. Those who are paid on a fee basis are subject to giving sub-standard quality and might put their interests above that of the client.

Analyze the Fine Print

Has the planner included a complimentary arbitration clause in the contract? Check if the planner has indicated that you are willing to invest in speculative investments. You should be cautious of these and other phrases on the contract because they are related to your financial standing.

Avoid Fraudulent Planners by Asking Questions

If your potential planner is continually talking about how they have managed to achieve incredible profits from investments, they might not be ethical. Unethical people promise unbelievable returns that they cannot deliver. Regardless of how fancy their graphs and charts are, take a close look at what they are not saying openly. Also, most transparent financial planners use a third party custodian.

It is good practice to do your due diligence before settling for a financial planner because they are responsible for your financial health. Find someone who you believe they will handle your financial statements and investments. Understand the qualifications the person should have and get someone who fits the description.

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About the author: Wifred Murray

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