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Introduction to Choosing a Financial Planner

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A good planner can help make the difference between financial success and failure. Here is what you can get from the experience.

What you will learn

  • What Is a Financial Planner?
  • What Do Financial Planners Do?
  • How Are Financial Planners Compensated?
  • Where Can You Find a Financial Planner?
  • Questions to Ask Your Financial Planner

What do you know?

Introduction to Choosing a Financial Planner

Many people find that they benefit from seeing a financial planner. They will often seek out a planner when they have gotten married, started a business, acquired a large sum of money, started a family, or have saved up a lot of money and want to use it wisely and make it grow even more. Good financial planners focus on your overall financial health, rather than on one area of your finances (as an insurance agent or accountant might). They come up with a broad financial plan, usually in writing, that is regularly reviewed and changed to meet a client’s needs and goals. They may also specialize in areas such as stocks or insurance, but their main purpose is to create a general financial strategy. Anyone may call himself or herself a "financial planner," so you should find one with the training to give advice on all areas of your financial life. These areas include retirement planning, income tax management, employee benefits, estate planning, investment management, and insurance.

A good planner can help make the difference between financial success and failure. But before you run out to get all that great advice, you should be aware of how the financial planning profession works. You will need to understand whom you can trust, what charges to expect, and what you can expect from a qualified planner.

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