How to find help with financial planning

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative

Financial planners can help people from all backgrounds establish and achieve their financial goals

Financial advisors can be invaluable resources for people who need help managing their money.

There’s an existing misconception that financial advisors are only for the rich, but anyone can benefit from some guidance in regard to their finances. The key is finding a planner who understands your needs and is willing to work with you, no matter how big or small your financial dreams may be.

According to U.S. News and World Report, some financial advisors are no longer interested in working with people without substantial portfolios. Certain firms have stopped paying commissions to brokers for accounts that are considered small, including customers with assets worth between $100,000 and $500,000. While that can make it difficult to find financial help, there are ways to receive assistance.

Ask friends for recommendations. If a financial advisor has worked with a colleague, friend or family member, he or she may also be able to provide services to you. To find professionals with reputable credentials, look for someone who has a Certified Financial Planner or Personal Financial Specialist designation. Those who are relying on investment advisors should work with one who has a Chartered Financial Analyst certificate. These credentials are indicative of proficiency in financial planning.

Look around online. Various online resources, including U.S. News & World Report, offer searchable databases. The Garrett Planning Network at garrettplanningnetwork.com offers a map of the United States where users can find financial advisors in their areas who cater to the middle class.

Contact a professional association. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors can provide resources for finding local financial advisors. Visit www.napfa.org for a listing. Middle-income individuals can look at the Accredited Financial Counselor website at www.afcpe.org to find professionals. Accredited financial counselors often focus on helping low- and middle-income people at affordable prices with relevant financial assistance.

Research compensation. Financial advisors may receive compensation in one of two ways: fee-only and non-fee-only. A fee-only advisor typically charges an hourly fee or flat rate for services. A non-fee-only advisor may be compensated at a percentage of assets earned or may receive incentives and commissions from their companies based on pre-established sales goals or objectives. There are no right and wrong answers to fee schedules, but find a situation that works for you.

– Courtesy Metro Creative.

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