A Guide to Choosing a Financial Planner That is Right For You

Financial planners are important for not only business owners and managers of companies, but also anyone who wants/ needs help in managing their finances. Financial planners are professionals that will assist people with organizing, managing, and paying attention to their finances as well as teaching them how to invest and save for retirement. Overall, any person making significant amounts of money could benefit from a financial advisor.

If you are in the market for a financial planner or in need of a new one, finding the one that is right for you can be challenging because there are so many to choose from. As you look into financial planners, you want to make sure that the one you chose is perfect for you and will take care of your finances in the best and most efficient way possible. Below is a short guide to help you choose the financial planner that is right for you.

Ask Yourself, Why Do I Need a Financial Planner?

Financial planners can be used as often or as little as needed; you can meet once for a one-time financial plan, or you can meet monthly or yearly to discuss financial plans for the future.

A life insurance attorney pointed out that it’s a good idea to get a financial planner to help you make proactive choices about your future; most notably about retirement, estate planning, future investments, and life insurance policies.

If you are overwhelmed or need assistance planning your finances and don’t know how to choose a financial planner, here are some things to keep in mind:

What Kind of Financial Planner Do You Want?

As stated above, financial planners can assist in a number of different areas of finance. As you look for financial planners, consider what kind of financial assistance you need the most. Do you want a financial planner that will help you plan retirement? Are you looking for a financial planner that will help you choose the right life insurance based on your current financial situation? Or, do you want a financial planner that will help you invest in the right things? These are all questions to ask yourself as you choose a financial planner.

In addition to planning your future finances, financial planners can also assist with the following situations:

  • Inheriting money from a deceased family member
  • Recently married couples that want to combine finances
  • Newly divorced people
  • Newly widowed people

Decide what kind of financial planner is right for your wants and needs.

Do Your Research

Tying into what kind of financial planner is best for you, make sure to do proper research. It’s possible that you may not know what kind of financial planner you need, doing research will help you figure this out.

Additionally, research will also help you find a list of financial planners in your area, making the choice a bit easier by narrowing down your options. As you do research, make sure to look into what that financial planner specializes in; don’t hire any financial planner, he or she may not know much about the area in which you are needing assistance in.

Look at His or Her Credentials

In addition to doing research, make it a point to check the financial planner’s credentials. Make sure that your financial planner has the experience and/or education that specializes in your area of financial interest. If his or her credentials are not clearly stated online, you can visit websites such as  brokercheck.com or adviserinfo.sec.gov to find out about his or her background.

It’s also okay to ask about his or her credentials if you decide to go in and meet with him or her; if he or she has valid credentials, he or she will not be offended by this inquiry.

Get Referrals

This is perhaps the best way to find the financial planner that is right for you. Ask friends and family who their financial planner is and have them put you in contact with them. Talking to people you know about financial planners will make it easier to choose one that is right for you while also allowing you to gain a sense of trust.

After you have received referrals, look into credentials and then schedule a time to talk on the phone or in person.

Talk to Multiple Financial Planners

Though this will be a bit time consuming, it’s important to talk to multiple financial planners in order to find the one that is best for you and your financial needs. After you have narrowed down your list of potential planners, call them to get to know them or to set up a time for you to go in and ask further questions. Talking to multiple financial planners will give you a good understanding of who will help you the most.

It’s important to have a good relationship with your financial planner, so meeting with a few until you establish trust is a good tip to keep in mind.

Upon meeting, make sure to have a list of questions you want to ask your potential planner as well; this will allow you to make your choice much easier depending on their answers.

Get the Best Financial Advice

At the end of the day, it’s most important to get the best financial advice that is available. Financial planners’ purpose is to help you- find the one that will do just that. Keeping this guide in mind, you will be one step closer to finding the financial planner that will benefit all of your financial needs.


About the Author

Veronica Baxter is a blogger and legal assistant living and working in the great city of Philadelphia. She frequently works with Chad Boonswang, Esq., a busy life insurance beneficiary attorney.