If you are of a certain age, you recall the quote from Ronald Reagan: “The most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” It’s sometimes the way people feel when they contact a financial planner.
Are financial advisors worth it?
A recent study shows that 71 percent of American say they are scared to talk to a financial advisor. A big piece of this fear stems from history in the financial planning industry. In years past, most financial “advisors” were actually financial product salespeople. It was their job to convince you to buy their product, and buy it today. That’s why many folks have had the experience of meeting with a financial person and feeling like it cost them a bunch of money.
I understand how clients feel. I feel that way many times when I deal with salespeople. That’s one reason I have built my financial planning practice to place my client’s interests first, always, and it’s why I’m fee-only.
Benefits of a financial advisor
Today, families have better choices than ever before. More and more financial professionals are focusing on financial planning instead of financial products. Here are six benefits of working with a financial advisor that should help you overcome your fear:
A holistic financial plan will help you:
- Clarify your long-term goals for financial security
- Understand where you stand, today, relative to your future goals
- Identify strategies to fill any gaps
- Create a retirement income strategy to transform savings into income
- Monitor tax impact of the plan
- Support your estate planning and legacy goals
I know this sounds like a lot, but the entire focus of this process is to clarify your goals and to work forward toward those goals. If you work with an experienced, well-trained professional financial planner, the process will be comfortable and should reduce your anxiety as the picture comes into clearer focus.
How to find a financial advisor
To locate a great financial planner I suggest you start here. This link will direct you to a few
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals in your area. Meet with a couple and get to know them. Look for a planner whom you like and trust.
As you visit with financial planners, I suggest a couple things to check:
- Is the advisor always the client’s advocate – a fiduciary advisor?
- Is the advisor only paid by clients, not any financial product manufacturer or distribution network? That would be a fee-only advisor.
These two points help assure that you are working with a professional who is committed to your best interest at all times. It seems sort of obvious to me that a professional would work in this way, but it’s not automatic.
A fiduciary, fee-only, CFP® professional can help you make great financial planning choices and develop a comprehensive financial plan that is driven by your goals and priorities and addresses all aspects of your financial life. With a big-picture approach, you will be better prepared to understand your options at every step along the way.
Yes, I am a CFP® professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I only work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.
If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at email@example.com. I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.