Find a Financial Planner – 3 Tips For Success!
Finding a Financial Planner these days is about one of the most difficult things to get accomplished given the personal nature of the services. Not only do you have to get an understanding of the licenses the individual has, it’s also important to understand the business process to ensure the advisor delivers services that fit your needs. Within the industry there are many different certifications that can show the type of business model that the financial planner has and that is the trick. Even with these challenges, it doesn’t take away the importance of being prepared as you have heard before “Fail to plan then your planning to fail!”
Financial services have become a very difficult topic to discuss given the tremendous amount of media coverage associated with these investment banking companies who may or may not have acted illegally in there attempts to generate transactions and options for investors. Even though at some level there should be some concern about what the companies who package investment products are doing, it doesn’t and should vilify the individuals who are making a career out of helping consumers understand and obtain their financial goals.
To the point, let’s remember that decisions are made with information and sales are made with emotion so it is important to stay focused on your objectives when confronted with a service provider. These individuals must be planners and also salespeople, which presents a difficult and trusted position when it comes to making sure the clients best interests are always being served rather than some commission goal. The reason this is important is because as we are all competitive individuals, it’s easy to get focused on investment returns rather than the logical rationale that each of our financial pictures are different and require different levels of returns and subsequent risk to be successful.
Financial planning is the process of putting the pieces of your present and future together with assumptions as to what the future uncertainty will do for your retirement lifestyle. The uncertain assumptions that need to be made are Inflation, Taxes, Investment Returns, Rainy Days, Insurance, etc. and there are enough of them to be sure that your future will remain uncertain unless there is a plan.
It’s the most uncomfortable thing in the world to do, but when the time comes 3 things you need to do when deciding to put your financial plan together are…
Be honest with yourself and your financial planner, even small details can have lasting impact on plan performance.
Don’t let the results get you down, this is simply a plan with a direction, a lot of assumptions need to be made and they can work well if you remain conservative and realistic in expectations.
Adjust and Recalculate semi-annually. Circumstances that will affect your plan will come often but not all of them are worth making an adjustment for. If you schedule an appointment with your planner every 6 months you can ensure that the plan doesn’t become stale and remains current with assumptions.
As a starting point we are now establishing a Certification Based Registry to help consumers identify specialists who have shown a history of client service excellence and personal accountability. As your independent resource for Accountability in Financial Services we appreciate all the support.