Financial planning is an important part of managing your finances, and having a reliable financial planner can help you make important decisions about your money.
But with so many options out there, it can be difficult to determine which one will be the best fit for you. So what should you look for in a good financial planner? Here are the tips to get you started:
1. Extensive Experience
The first thing to look for in a good financial planner is experience. A reputable financial planner should have a good track record of working with clients and helping them achieve their goals.
Ask your prospective financial planner to provide you with references so that you can get a better understanding of their abilities.
Also, make sure they have valid professional certifications or licenses, such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), or similar designation. Each of these specialities requires thorough schooling and monetary understanding.
When evaluating a financial planner, it is important to look beyond their credentials and ask questions about their knowledge and experience. Ask them how they stay up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry and how they handle different types of income or investment scenarios.
Find out if there are any guarantees for success with their services, and if not, what type of risk management strategies they use. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from past clients, as these can provide valuable insight into the way a financial planner works and how successful their approach has been.
2. Excellent Communication Skills
Another important trait of a good financial planner is communication skills. The ability to effectively communicate with their clients is an essential tool for any financial planner.
Make sure you are comfortable talking to your prospective planner, and that they understand your goals and objectives. The ability to clearly explain complex financial terms and concepts, as well as discuss different strategies, is also important.
Poor communication skills can easily be identified in a financial planner if they are unresponsive and fail to return phone calls or emails, provide incomplete or inconsistent information, or seem reluctant to discuss topics in detail. Additionally, if they provide vague answers or make promises that sound too good to be true, these are red flags that should not be ignored.
A good financial planner should be able to provide a clear and detailed explanation of their services, fees, and strategies, as well as answer any questions you may have. If they are unable or unwilling to do this, it is likely that they are not the right planner for you, and you should take your business elsewhere.
3. Comprehensive Financial Services
A good financial planner should be able to provide a variety of services that cover all aspects of your finances, including investments, retirement planning, budgeting, estate planning, and more.
In addition, they should be well-versed in tax laws and regulations so that they can provide advice that takes into account any tax implications. With a comprehensive service from an experienced financial planner, you can be sure to make sound decisions for your future.
4. A Glowing Referral
Just as when shopping for products, a good referral or review from others is a surefire way to garner trust. Getting a referral from someone you trust is an invaluable resource when selecting a financial planner.
Ask your family members, friends, or colleagues if they can recommend anyone who has had positive experiences with their own financial planners. Speak to the referrer and find out what services they received and how satisfied they were with the results.
A great referral is a strong indicator that the financial planner is reliable and trustworthy, making them an excellent choice for your own needs.
If you are new to an area and don’t know who to ask for a referral, there are numerous online sites that offer detailed reviews and referrals for a wide variety of financial planners. These websites can be invaluable resources when it comes to finding the right planner for your needs, containing information on many different planners throughout the country, along with ratings and reviews from past clients.
Additionally, many of these sites offer articles and guides to help you make an informed decision on the right financial planner for your situation.
5. A Long-Term Outlook and Personable Nature
It is also important to find a good financial planner who is willing to have an ongoing relationship with you. A good financial plan should not be a one-time event but something that evolves over time with your changing needs, finances, and goals.
Ask your prospective planner if they offer ongoing financial planning services and how much they charge for it. You may want to ensure that your financial planner is also working with a reputable money management firm. This way, you can trust that they have a wealth of resources and colleagues to rely on as well as their own experience. Knowing whether or not the firm has existed for some time is a bonus.
Telling for a surety if someone is personable can be a little tricky, but if you can schedule an initial meeting with the planner, take time to get to know them. Observe them and ask questions.
Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they take their time to answer your questions and express genuine interest in helping you achieve your goals? These are important qualities that will be beneficial for working together long-term.
When selecting a good financial planner, you should consider their availability as another major factor. You want someone who is available to answer questions, provide guidance, and offer advice whenever you need it.
Look for good planners who are willing to meet with you in person when possible or are available for phone calls, video calls, and emails on a regular basis. Also, make sure the planner is up-to-date on the latest changes in tax laws and other regulations that could affect your finances.
A good financial planner should always be a reliable source of knowledge and insight when it comes to managing your money, and they should be willing and available whenever you need them.
If you find yourself constantly waiting for the financial planner to get back to you or they are not returning your calls or emails in a timely manner, they may be too busy or overwhelmed with other clients to give you the attention you deserve.
Similarly, if they are constantly cancelling or rescheduling meetings without an explanation, then it could be indicative of their unavailability. In these cases, look for someone else who is more capable of meeting your needs and offering a higher level of service.
7. Someone You Can Trust With Money
Finally, make sure you are comfortable with the fees and terms of a prospective financial planner before signing up with them. Fees can vary from one planner to another, so be sure to understand what the full cost will be for the services they provide.
In addition, make sure you are aware of any extra fees that may be charged for additional services, such as tax preparation or estate planning.
Before you finish your first meeting with your potential financial planner, be sure to ask what their fees and services are. A good financial planner should be transparent in their pricing, as well as the range of services they offer.
Be sure to ask what types of investments they specialize in, whether or not they provide tax preparation or estate planning services if there are any additional fees, and how long they have been in business. All of these factors will play a major role in your decision.
By doing your research and finding the right financial planner for you, you can be assured that your finances will be in good hands. Keep these traits in mind when you are looking for the right financial planner, and you can be sure that you’ll find the perfect one for your needs.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.