After last week’s post about being careful who you get financial advice from, here are four things to look for when deciding who to get financial advice from:
1. Competence and Professionalism. The quickest and easiest way to identify their competence and professionalism is their industry designations. This tells you if they have taken the time and spent the money to invest in themselves to serve you better. The gold star designation is the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or the CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter). The CLU has a similar curriculum to the CFP with the addition of advanced estate planning and business planning. Other lesser designations include the PFP (Personal Financial Planner) QAFP (Qualified Associate Financial Planner) and CHS (Certified Health Insurance Specialist).
2. Independence. Who do they work for and where do their allegiances lie? It isn’t talked about much, but when you work with a representative from one of our big banks, the rep has a fiduciary duty to the bank’s shareholders first and you second. An independent financial professional has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients first.
3. Process. Do they have a process they follow, and more importantly, is this process designed to identify and uncover challenges you have? Or is the process simply a sales tool that results in the sale of a specific product they want to sell?
4. Breadth of Advice. Is the advice they give limited to the products they sell, or do they share tips and tools that don’t result in a direct sale?
When you are deciding on who to get council or advice from, remember that a financial professional’s role is to educate you and help you make an informed decision. If you have any questions, feel free to use the link http://surl.li/frbqk to set aside time to chat.