Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring A Personal Financial Planner

Author: RGE & Associates | | Categories: Financial Advisor , Financial Planner , Financial Planning Team , Financial Strategist

Blog by RGE & Associates

Hiring a personal financial planner is equivalent to hiring a chief financial officer for you or your business. You want to go through a disciplined process to find a professional with whom you can work for several years. Finding the right individual or firm may take longer, but the investment of time will be well worth it in the context of your peace of mind.

However, the financial advisor ecosystem can be daunting and complex. Nearly anyone can claim to be a financial advisor, financial planner, or financial coach, with minimal qualifications and knowledge required. Consequently, it’s important to be cautious and mindful when hiring a professional to help you save, grow, and nurture your savings. 

To ensure you get the best, most attentive and professional financial planning advice, we have compiled a list of the top five things to look for when hiring a personal financial planner.

1. Qualifications
Financial planning is a broad subject and has various specializations. Therefore, it is essential to know if your planner has the required competency and qualifications to offer you the best advice based on your financial situation. There are plenty of certifications and courses that one can complete to become a professional financial planner. Some of the highly regarded renowned certifications include Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), among others.

2. Experience 
Review your prospective financial planner’s experience to understand why they may be uniquely positioned to help you with your finances. Particularly, look for planners who have demonstrated they can practically apply their knowledge to devise an optimal strategy for you. A planner’s website and social media profiles could be a good starting point to study their qualifications, planning practices, and thought process.

3. Services offered
Financial professionals may go by many titles: financial advisor, financial planner, money manager, wealth manager, etc. Many among these may be registered as both brokers and investment advisors. If you’re looking for someone for holistic financial advice, experts usually suggest you hire a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Those with this designation have cleared a rigorous exam to verify that they comprehend all of the core aspects of financial planning. Mostly, financial planners are registered as investment advisors, the professional that you hire should be able to cater their services to your requirement.

4. How are they paid
You want to fully understand how the planner is paid for their service. Some get paid directly by the client only for the service they provide in the form of fees that are charged for the service or by the hour. Others receive a commission on the sale of a financial product from the company that you are buying a financial product from. You may feel that a planner who is paid for the sale of a product may be susceptible to bias.

5. Put the agreement in writing
After discussing the terms of your working relationship with your personal financial planner, ask for the agreement in writing. All details, such as how much access you will have to the advisor, how often you’ll meet and whether they’re available for phone calls or emails outside of scheduled appointments - should be put down in black and white to avoid potential differences in the relationship in future. 

If you are looking for personal financial planning services, contact RGE & Associates - St. Catharines CFO Services, Personal Financial Planning Services & Bookkeeping. Our professionals at RGE & Associates Inc. are helping families and businesses make informed decisions with confidence. We are experts in personal financial planning and business growth strategies; we specialize in finding the best solutions to meet your financial goals.

We are serving across St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Port Colborne, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, Grimsby, Hamilton, Burlington, and the surrounding areas.

To learn more about the services that we provide, please click here. If you have any questions about personal financial planning, feel free to get in touch with us by clicking here