How to Choose a Great Financial Planner

How to Choose a Great Financial Planner
Financial Advisor, Financial Planner, Financial Planning

Most people can benefit from the input of a financial planner into their financial affairs. However, the kind of planner you choose may depend on what your goals and needs are. Since you need finances to do almost everything in life you may see getting help from a financial planner as very important. Your age will also have some bearing on the kind of advice that you need.

Seniors may only need advice on how to manage their retirement funds to the best advantage, while those much younger will need advice on how to save for their retirement while still achieving other goals in their lives. It is helpful to think about short, medium and long term goals that you may have before you see a financial planner. You will then have more idea of what to tell them and it will take less time than if you had never thought about it at all.

Some people never give much consideration to their future and what they would like to achieve until they get older and by then they have wasted a good deal of their life and their income. If you fail to plan, then you will fail in a good many areas of life. But if you take the time and trouble to plan your life financially you will have the reward of achieving your goals and moving towards financial freedom. Even if you think you will never achieve certain financial goals, you will be surprised at just what is possible when you have professional advice at your fingertips.

So how do you actually choose a financial planner? You can get recommendations from friends and family if you want to, but you can also simply do your research online or by looking at the Yellow Pages. The financial services advertised either online or on the printed page usually state what qualifications their staff has. If these are not mentioned you need to ask about their qualifications before you hire them. Just as important as their qualifications is their experience. You don’t want to be advised by someone who is fresh out of university, even if they are qualified.

Another question to ask is how they get paid. Some financial advisers charge a fee for their services, while others are paid by commission from the financial products they sell. You need to know that there is no conflict of interest, as in them choosing products for which they get the most commission. Never be afraid to ask such questions as most financial advisers will expect it. Some will even tell you before you ask, but if not then you do need to find out by asking.

Some financial advisors work for financial institutions or their affiliated companies, in which case they will be limited to offering you products that are available from there. This may not worry you if you like that particular institution, however it seems that you would get more choice and flexibility from financial advisers that worked for themselves or for a financial services company rather than a bank.

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