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Choosing a Trustworthy Financial Advisor

You probably have a financial plan somewhere. Only that somewhere is deep down in a part of your brain that you don’t access that much. A financial planner will help turn that dream into a reality so you can live the live you want for yourself and your family.

You don’t have to manage your finances alone, you can get help from a trusted advisor to help you set realistic financial and personal goals. Financial planers will take everything into account including your income, insurance, investments, taxes, assets and housing plans. You can get help developing a real plan and monitoring its progress, and you will have an incentive to stay on track to meet the changing goals and personal circumstances.

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Finding the right Financial Advisor

There are many reasons to get a financial planner; most people are just fed up of having to think of everything because it becomes stressful which lowers the quality of your life. Others only go after a financial planner when they are saving for retirement, or they need help planning for a specific event. It could be to fund education, buying or selling a family business, planning the birth of a child or facing a financial crisis.

All financial planners are not the same. There are many so called ‘financial planners’ who are actually trying to sell you a financial package or product so that they can profit and take whatever money you may have left. These swindlers call themselves financial planners and they look the part. It’s important to be very careful when choosing someone trustworthy.

A genuine financial planners will only have one goal in mind, to help you sort out your finances for whatever occasion you need or for your entire life. A real financial planner will help you across the board, from investments to taxes, from insurance to savings. Also make sure that your financial planner is a CFP. CFP stands for Certified Financial Planner and it means they have been certified to be a financial planner and they therefore have a moral and ethical obligation to cater to your needs.

CFP professionals have gone through a rigorous examination on various aspects of financial planning. They must have aquired 3-5 years of financial planning experience and they must complete 30 hours of education every two years to stay current in financial planning, including ethics. They must ascribe to the CFP boards code of ethics and any CFP who violates these ethics will have their could get there CFP status taken away.

Anyone who has a CFP license is well prepared and qualified to give you professional advice. There are also other credible licenses such as the ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) and the PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) which both are from trusted financial institution and are focused more on insurance and accounting.

To find a financial planner the best place to ask is friends or business people that you may know that know someone they trust. This is the best way to get your foot in the door with someone you trust, and always confirm that they have a CFP or equivalent license. You can also go to attorneys, insurance agents, accountants and bankers to get recommendations. The FPA has a list of CFP professionals in your area and you can find out any information you need by visiting Financial Planning Association.

You will have a very personal relationship with your financial planner so you have to be comfortable and happy with whomever you go for. Besides just having the qualifications, you should feel like your financial planner is trusting, has integrity, and is ethical and highly professional. It’s important for you to see a few financial planners before choosing one so you know you are picking one that is perfect for you. Some financial planners specialize in certain subjects so if you have a specific life event you are planning for them perhaps a specialized financial planner will be best for you.

There are two main pillars of having a successful trusting relationship with your financial planner. The first pillar is full disclosure. You want to make sure you know the planner’s backgrounds, practices and other important factors like their moral, ethical and professional behaviors. Full disclosure means revealing what companies the planner is working for, and if they are promoting any services or earning any referral fees by promoting products to any of their customers. The second pillar is the planner having your best interests at heart. If they are just trying to get a new client and they are pushing services or products your way then they may just be looking out for themselves. You want a financial planner that you know is acting on your best interests at all times in a moral and ethical manner.

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