Money Monday: Tips for Choosing a Financial Planner

Don’t sign up for the first financial planner who comes along. Use these valuable tips to make the right choice in this very important matter.

By Bridget McCrea

Up until now you probably handled financial matters on your own. Maybe you were in college and are now working full-time, perhaps you just got married, or maybe you recently moved into your own apartment. Regardless of the life change that you’re going through, chances are good that a financial planner can help you make some solid choices today and in the future.

Financial planners come in all shapes and sizes. Before you pick one, consider these five tips for selecting a professional who will work in your best interest and guide you in the right direction:

1) Look for a financial planner with the letters “CFP” after his or her name. These folks have passed a rigorous test administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards about the specifics of personal finance. CFPs also have to take ethics classes and continuing education in order to keep their designations current.

2) Learn how to discern between commission-based and fee-only planners. Commission-based planners take a cut of the profits that they generate for you, and some charge per transaction. Fee-only planners (typically members of an organization called the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors [NAPFA]) generate revenue through client fees (hourly, retainer, or both) that typically equal about 1 percent of your annual assets.

3) If you’re just starting out, consider picking an hourly-based planner. These planners are usually new to the business and eager to build their companies by referrals. They can help you with investments, taxes, retirement planning, and myriad other financial matters on a per-project basis. Over time you may want to transition to a more “holistic” approach — with the planner on retainer year-round — but for now having a professional working in your corner on an hourly basis may be enough.

read the complete article here: Money Monday: Tips for Choosing a Financial Planner | News | BET.

Five questions a financial planner should ask you – Life Inc.

By Jacoba Urist, TODAY contributor

Preparing for your first sit-down with a financial planner can be more than a little intimidating. After all, a good planner covers a lot of terrain, from analyzing your investment portfolio, estate plan and health care costs, to helping you figure out how to fund college or retirement accounts, to making sure you’ve got a healthy day-to-day budget in place. Chances are he or she may be the only professional who takes in your whole financial picture — with both a wide-angle and a zoom lens.Experts agree that finding the right fit between you and your financial planner is the key to making the relationship worth your while. To that end, most of us concentrate on what we should ask a potential adviser during the initial consultation. Many people don’t realize that a good financial planner should also be asking you at least five questions at the first meeting.

1. What is it you hope to accomplish by visiting a financial planner?A good financial planner needs to know exactly what you want from the relationship, explained Lauren Locker, chairwoman of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors napfa.org. “Are you trying to save for your kids’ college and a house?” Locker said. “Are you here because you’re worried about retirement? Do you need guidance with respect to insurance issues? You might need a whole financial plan — and you might only need a few hours. It all depends on what you are looking for and why you’ve decided to meet with someone.” According to Locker, financial planning is a lot like a cooking recipe. You start with your goals and what you hope to achieve financially imagine trying to bake something without really knowing what you’re trying to make in the first place. Then, she said, a good planner will add in your current investments to see how far they’ll take you into the future, and sprinkle in your estate planning, taxes, lifestyle issues — whatever else you want help with — on top.

See the complete article here:   Five questions a financial planner should ask you – Life Inc..

Actual wealth vs perceived wealth (More is not always better)

I first read this great poem a few years ago.

It reminds that you more is not always better …

Here’s the poem:

SMART

My Dad gave me a one dollar bill
‘Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes
– I guess he didn’t know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ‘cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three

Read the complete article here:

via Actual wealth vs perceived wealth.