How to Choose a Financial Planner

A financial planner helps you invest, save and grow your money. Of course, you could do this job yourself and spend hours figuring out investment, the stock market and other financial issues, but most likely, you want to hire a professional. If so, do your research and use these tips to choose a financial planner you can trust. 

Ask About Certification

A certified financial planner (CFP) is licensed and follows industry regulations. He or she also takes mandatory classes to stay updated on ethics issues and financial practices and products. Professional websites like the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and Garrett Planning Network help you find the right financial planner for your needs. 

Consider the Payment Structure

Financial planners typically receive payment in one of two ways. They may earn a commission on the funds they manage or get paid a flat, hourly rate. If you choose a commission-based financial planner, make sure he or she gives you unbiased advice. Additionally, consider paying by the hour if your assets and needs are small right now.

Discuss Experience

While some financial planners work with anyone, others choose only clients who have significant assets. Certain financial planners may not be experienced with young adults or seniors, either. Discuss experience to make sure you and the financial planner you hire are compatible. 

Run a Background Check

A basic Google search helps you hire a financial planner who is indeed reputable and qualified. It also verifies that candidates are not convicted of a crime and are not under investigation from regulatory agencies or industry groups. 

Be Educated

Even after you hire a financial planner, stay on top of your financial portfolio. Read the monthly reports, double check statements and plan quarterly meetings with your financial planner as you stay educated about how your money is being saved and invested.

When you're ready to hire a financial planner, you can make the best decision for you when you use this list and discuss your needs with your human resources manager at work. Protecting your money and your future could depend on this decision. 

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