Consider the following five factors to ensure that your financial planner is well-versed in personal finance and offers unbiased advice:
1. Planning Credentials: Having a well-respected financial planning certification, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), verifies that the practitioner you wish to work with has the qualifications and experience required to act as a financial planner. Only those with the CFP and PFS certificates have completed the qualification criteria in terms of knowledge and experience in personal financial planning. They must also pass the qualification exams and continue to follow the practise guidelines as well as the continuing education criteria.Have a look at Financial Planner Kansas City for more info on this.
2. Expertise in a Specific Field: Financial planners are planning practitioners, not necessarily specialists in a specific field. A financial planner, for example, may be knowledgeable in tax analysis and preparation, but he may not be a subject matter specialist when it comes to tax law, unlike a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA). Similarly, he may be capable of devising an investment strategy, but unlike a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), he may not be an expert in the field. Consult a financial advisor who is also a specialist in the fields of personal finance that are critical to achieving your financial objectives.
3. Client Specialization: Not all financial planners work for the same kinds of people. Most of them specialise in only supporting particular groups of clients with specific profiles. A personal planner, for example, can specialise his knowledge and services to support only those individuals and families who work in specific careers or are in a specific stage of life with specific financial goals and net worth. Inquire about the planner’s specialisation in representing particular groups of clients with specific profiles to see if he is a good match for your situation and financial objectives.
4. Fee structure: His fee structure largely decides whether he represents his client’s or his own needs better. A Fee-Only professional only charges fees for their advice, while a Fee-Based professional receives commissions, referral fees, and other financial benefits on the products and solutions they recommend for you. As a result, fee-only financial planner advice is more likely to be impartial and in your best interests than fee-based financial planner advice. Work with a professional whose fee structure is free of conflicts of interest and consistent with your best interests.
5. Availability: He or she should be accessible, attentive, and reachable to you on a regular basis. Inquire about the number of clients the planner currently represents and the maximum number of clients he plans to support on a daily basis in the future. One of the most important considerations in determining the planner’s potential availability is the client-to-planner ratio. Also, find out which preparation tasks are usually handled by the planner and which are handled by a paraplanner or other junior staff members. Finally, make sure the planner can be reached by phone and email during regular business hours.