(News USA) – Experts agree that financial planning has many benefits. It can help you protect your family, worry less about your finances, and achieve your goals at all stages of your life. These benefits can be even greater if you work with a professional financial planner who is trained to show you how to make wise investment choices, save money on taxes, and control high-interest debt, among others.
If you’ve decided you need a financial plan and want to work with a financial advisor to create it, you may be wondering where to find an advisor. Asking friends, family, or colleagues to recommend an advisor can be a good place to start, especially if they earn a similar income to yours and seem to manage their money successfully. Many resources are also available online to help you find a financial advisor.
One such tool is LetsMakeaPlan.org, a website operated by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board). The site offers a search tool that helps you find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERMT professional by location and planning services offered. CFP® professionals must complete an extensive, multi-year certification process that ensures they gain the skills and real-life experience needed to deliver comprehensive financial planning. They are also committed to putting your interests first.
When hiring a CFP® professional, how you will pay for their services is a key question to ask. Different financial advisors may charge differently, or a financial advisor may offer several different payment methods that clients can choose from. Many financial planners use the Assets Under Management (AUM) model, in which the financial planner receives a percentage of the assets they manage for you. Some CFP® Professionals may earn a commission on a transaction. Others charge hourly fees, subscription fees, or flat fees for specific services. You should ask a CFP® professional to outline the details of how they charge at the start of your engagement.
Low-income families or those facing a financial crisis can find help from the Financial Planning Foundation. The foundation can help connect you with a CFP® professional who provides free financial planning services. These connections are made through financial capability workshops and webinars offered by nonprofit groups and other foundation grantees, as well as through individual financial planning sessions.
Once you’ve found a competent and ethical financial planner, you can begin the planning process together and start working towards a more secure future.