CHICAGO, Feb. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A new year often brings renewed interest in goal setting, particularly as it relates to our financial wellbeing. There is a lot of noise in the financial media about market volatility, hyper-inflation, and potential tax changes. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to sift through what soundbites are valuable and which ones are sensationalizing current financial conditions. That is why a trusted financial planner can be an instrumental team member in your financial journey. But how does one even begin to sort through the media messaging and vast number of available advisors to determine who is a right fit? There are a few best practices for individuals to consider in their quest to find the right financial advisor. While this list is not all inclusive, here are the five considerations in choosing a trusted financial professional:
- Fiduciary. A fiduciary is simply someone who has the obligation to work in your best interests, not their own. In the world of financial services, you would be surprised how many financial professionals do not work in a fiduciary capacity with their clients. Instead of working as a fiduciary with your best interests first, they work at a lower standard of suitability which allows them to have a "reasonable basis" for recommending plans or investments to you. Be aware of the difference between a fiduciary standard and a suitability standard in your search for a trusted advisor.
- Independence. There are many good advisors out there that are only able to offer certain investments to their clients because that is all that is available at the financial institution they work with. Independent advisors don’t have commitments to specific products or portfolios. This allows the independent advisor the opportunity to provide access to any investment vehicle that works best for their client. If they are also a fiduciary, they have the obligation to do just that.
- Designations and degrees. The alphabet soup of letters behind an advisor’s name can be impressive at first glance. There are many organizations that provide training and education to advisors in exchange for using their credentials as proof of completion. Most educational programs are quite robust in their education and requirements. One such designation is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, which is administered by the CFP Board. CFP® professionals meet rigorous education, training, and ethical standards. There are many good programs, but it is important to research what designations apply to your financial situation.
- Niche Expertise. If you work for a company or government agency that has a unique retirement plan, you should work with an advisor who has experience and expertise in that particular area of planning. Finding an experienced financial professional with decades of experience can have resounding effects on your long-term financial picture. The ability to guide families through the overwhelming amount of paperwork and permanent retirement elections has been a huge value-add to many individuals as many advisors don’t have expertise in this area. Find a financial professional that has experience working with people in your same position so you can have more confidence in retirement.
- Communication and Personal Connection. Have you ever left a doctor’s office and wondered "What did he/she just say?". It can be very frustrating. An important part of an advisor’s job is making complex financial situations simpler to understand. Additionally, you need to choose an advisor that you simply feel comfortable with on a personal level. In the course of your planning, you will be discussing personal and private information regarding your financial situation, health status, and goals. Make sure you find an advisor that matches your communication and personal style.
Think of retirement as a long sports game. You need to have a good team and a good playbook if you want to win. Think of the right financial planner as a coach that can assemble a good financial team and put together your financial playbook. If they’re good, they’ll make necessary adjustments along the way. That way, you can be the team owner that wins their retirement championship. The first step is finding the right financial coach.
About Jason D. Provost, CFP®
Jason is a recognized Federal Benefits Educator, Author, Speaker, Financial Planner, and Founder and CEO of Provost Financial Service. Jason and his team have been helping successful Federal physicians, nurses, law enforcement professionals and other Federal employees maximize their benefits and preserve, protect, and pass on their hard-earned wealth since 2001.
Provost Financial Services and Kinetic Investment Management, Inc. are two separate entities. Investment Advisory Services are offered through Kinetic Investment Management, Inc., a registered investment adviser. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed agents in all appropriate jurisdictions under Provost Financial Services.
SOURCE Jason D. Provost