How to Pick A Financial Planner Jack Waymire of Paladin Registry gives it to you straight and tells you what to lookout for when looking for a financial planner. BY JACK WAYMIRE
When picking a financial planner know what to look for.
My husband and I would like to get a financial planner, but we're not sure what to look for. Any advice?
Now that you’re married, it’s time to get your financial house in order.
On the premise that you and your spouse don’t have a lot of financial expertise, you’ll need to find an experienced professional who can help you for an affordable price. This type of expert is most often called a financial planner.
But you don’t want just any planner.
Many of them only work with high net worth investors and charge thousands of dollars for their services. The person you want is a planner who provides his or her services to younger couples for a reasonable hourly fee. That’s because your current financial situation is relatively simple.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money developing a complex plan. That comes later in life when you have more assets, a more complicated lifestyle and are approaching a major financial crossroad—like retirement.
You want a professional who has the knowledge and services to help you achieve your most important financial goals. This ideal planner will have a degree, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification, a clean compliance record and at least five years of experience.
Be cautious if the planner accepts any form of commission compensation.
They are paid commissions for one reason—to sell investment and insurance products that they build into the financial plans. The plan and the sale are wrapped together, which is viewed by many as a conflict of interest. You have to ask yourself if this the best plan for you or the one that produces the most compensation for the planner?
Require the planner to document his or her sources of expertise, ethics, business practices, services, compensation and potential conflicts of interest. Don’t rely on verbal information that’s controlled by planners. You will only hear what they want you to hear, and they omit information that may detract from their sales success.
Why plan now instead of waiting a few years?
Planning is like saving. The sooner you start, the more money you’ll have in the future. Even if you start saving a token amount, the discipline will serve you well. Whether your goal is sending your children to the right schools or retiring when you want to and living how you want to, you’ll need assets to fund these goals and a well thought-out plan can help you accumulate those assets.
Jack Waymire is founder of ;a href=http://www.paladinregistry.com target="_blank">Paladin Registry, a free public service that matches investors to pre-screened advisers, and author of “Who's Watching Your Money?” He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.