With the markets falling even further today, it’s not unreasonable to be concerned about your financial health. You may be looking for answers on what to do and who to consult. You may be wondering, “What is a financial planner?” You may be wondering what a financial planner can do and how they can impact your financial health. This article will seek to answer these questions and any related questions you may have.
The most important step is to first understand what you need or what you are looking for. Your personal, professional or family goals and/or interests will influence the type of financial services you need. If you’re looking for stock advice or good day trading, they might not be the best for your purposes. A financial planner is not a stock market guru. They will not send you newsletters or solicitations, or paid advertisements to other services.
What is a Financial Planner?
A financial planner is a type of financial adviser, although they normally focus more on your long-term future. A financial planner is a professional who can help you personal financial planning journey. There are a few general points that these planners will address when creating a financial plan. These include saving for retirement, paying off debt, cutting expenses, paying for college, and a few other related topics. They can work with businesses, families and individuals, so you can find help no matter who you are.
Many financial planners specialize in a specific area of financial planning. Some focus on estate planning, others on budgeting, and others on retirement. That’s not to say they can’t provide advice on all of the above topics, as there are holistic planners out there. Additionally, some financial planners are also RIAwhich could also benefit your investment planning.
What isn’t a financial planner?
As mentioned in the first section, a financial planner is not a person to go to when picking stocks. Additionally, a financial planner is also distinct from your average financial advisor. While a financial advisor is primarily concerned with managing and growing your investments, a financial planner’s scope is much broader. In short, a financial advisor is more concerned with providing you with investment advice. Also, while they can advise on a range of different topics, they are not experts in all areas. For example, they can help you with your tax planning. However, for more difficult questions, they might recommend talking to someone who is a tax expert.
Responsibilities of a Financial Planner
Our society is constantly changing and evolving. A good financial planner stays abreast of any changes that may be taking place. Changes in tax, estate and investment laws and regulations may affect your plan if not taken into account. In this sense, it is also important that they maintain open lines of communication with you. Depending on the scope of your plan, adjusting your plan and investments can also be a regular process. They should also keep excellent records, actions that help prevent any personal or legal problems.
The process of getting a financial planner should start with defining the scope of your relationship. What they will and won’t do, and what you will and won’t do. Then address all of your specific interests, goals, and expectations. Assessing your current financial situation should also take place at this point in the process. From there, they will create a plan and then present it to you. Assuming you approve, then they would implement it. If you don’t, the plan will be revised first. From there, the aforementioned process of tracking your plan and communicating with you begins.
What a Financial Planner Charges
A financial planner may charge a variety of fees, so it’s important to ask about their fees up front. The fees regularly observed are hourly fees, fixed fees, installments and a percentage of assets under management. If your financial planner also functions as an RIA, additional costs may also be incurred for these services. You may want to consider whether you are comfortable working with a financial planner who is also paid on commission. Financial planners who receive commissions for selling particular investments have come under greater scrutiny in recent years. This is due to the perception conflict of interest in the sale of commission products. For this reason, it’s important that you ask for a fee breakdown for each service they provide.
Licenses and certifications required
Depending on the scope of services required, a financial planner will have different certifications or licenses. Many financial planners earn their Call for proposals certification as a means of showing their credibility and reliability. RIAs typically hold a variation of the Series 6 or 7 and 63 or 66 licenses. [combination] number of licenses allow them to provide financial advice and sell securities. A financial planner who focuses on tax planning will typically hold the CPA designation. In other words, depending on the services you receive, the licenses and designations held will vary. However, the gold standard for financial planners is the CFP designation, as it is specific to financial planning.
With market volatility and economic uncertainty, you may be spending more time reviewing financial planning. For this reason, if you are currently wondering “What is a Financial Planner”, you are not alone. Understanding what a financial planner is and what you need will help you decide if you need one. If you decide to buy one, there are some things to remember. Look for a well-qualified financial planner free of any potential conflict of interest. If you’re hoping to solve a specific problem, find a certified planner in that area. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re making the best possible decision for yourself, your family, or your business.
Gabriel Shabat is a writer who focuses on financial literacy and investment topics. He has been studying and talking about the markets for over seven years. Last year, he became a faculty member at Boston University, teaching graduate finance courses as part of their master’s degree programs. When he’s not working, he enjoys playing guitar, working out and spending time with his loved ones.