10-questions - page 2

10 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN
CHOOSING A FINANCIAL PLANNER
1. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
Find out how long the planner has been in practice and the number and types of companies with which she has
been associated. Ask the planner to briefly describe her work experience and how it relates to her current practice.
Choose a financial planner who has experience counseling individuals on their financial needs.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?
The term “financial planner” is used by many financial professionals. Ask the planner what qualifies him to offer
financial planning advice and whether he is recognized as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or
CFP® practitioner, a Certified Public Accountant/ Personal Financial Specialist (CPA/PFS), or a Chartered Financial
Consultant (ChFC). Look for a planner who has proven experience in financial planning topics such as insurance,
tax planning, investments, estate planning or retirement planning. Determine what steps the planner takes to stay
current with changes and developments in the financial planning field. If the planner holds a financial planning
designation or certification, check on his background with CFP Board or other relevant professional organizations.
3. WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER?
The services a financial planner offers depend on a number of factors including credentials, licenses and areas of
expertise. Generally, financial planners cannot sell insurance or securities products such as mutual funds or stocks
without the proper licenses, or give investment advice unless registered with state or Federal authorities. Some
planners offer financial planning advice on a range of topics but do not sell financial products. Others may provide
advice only in specific areas such as estate planning or on tax matters.
4. WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO FINANCIAL PLANNING?
Ask the financial planner about the type of clients and financial situations she typically likes to work with. Some
planners prefer to develop one plan by bringing together allof your financial goals. Others provide advice on
specific areas, as needed. Make sure the planner’s viewpoint on investing is not too cautious or overly aggressive
for you. Some planners require you to have a certain net worth before offering services. Find out if the planner will
carry out the financial recommendations developed for you or refer you to others who will do so.
5. WILL YOU BE THE ONLY PERSON WORKING WITH ME?
The financial planner may work with you himself or have others in the office assist him. You may want to meet
everyone who will be working with you. If the planner works with professionals outside his own practice (such as
attorneys, insurance agents or tax specialists) to develop or carry out financial planning recommendations, get a
list of their names to check on their backgrounds.
1 3,4
Powered by FlippingBook