What to look for in a financial planner

Andre Savoie
A financial planner can be a great asset, but how do you know if your planner or advisor is giving you the advice you need? If you are thinking about hiring a financial advisor as a step towards a better and more stable financial future, it may be difficult to know where to start. Here are some things to look for that can help you make the best choice for your situation.

Are they qualified?

Many people choose their planner based on a referral from a friend or someone at the office. But is that planner qualified? Almost anyone can call themselves a financial planner, so look closely at the qualifications of the planners you are considering. Some of the qualifications that indicate a planner who is qualified to head your investment and retirement planning include:

- CFP (Certified Financial Planner): This certification verifies that this individual has at least a bachelor’s degree as well as additional course training in relevant areas and has passed a ten hour exam.

- CPA (Certified Public Accountant): Best suited for tax issues, CPAs are experienced accountants held to strict licensing and educational requirements.

- PFS (Personal Finance Specialist): This certification is applied to CPAs who have completed additional educational courses, have at least 3,000 hours of professional experience in financial planning, and have passed an additional exam.

How do they get paid?

Financial planners can be paid in one of several ways, and understanding how your planner is paid will offer insight into his or her motivations and advice.

- Flat fees: Usually an hourly rate or a single rate for an entire financial plan, this method of payment ensures minimal conflict of interest.

- Commissions: A common method of payment for planners, they receive a percentage of each investment you choose to buy. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but can lead to planner bias towards investments that pay them a higher percentage.

- Asset-based fees: This is a relatively new development in which an annual fee is charged based on a percentage of the total amount you have invested with that particular planner or firm.

Selecting the right financial planner can put you in the optimal position as you head towards retirement, but choosing the wrong one can lead to unnecessary complications and headaches. Reputation, qualifications, and an unbiased position will ensure that your investments are being handled by a professional capable of helping you reach your retirement goals.

Choosing a good financial planner can eliminate the confusion and frustration of building a retirement plan. FBT Investments in New Orleans can help you with investment advice you can trust to make the best choices when it comes to your finances.
Article Source: ArticleRich.com

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