There are many different definitions for the profession of a financial planner. The services that financial planners offer usually vary widely. Some financial planners look at every aspect of a client’s life and show the client how he or she can spend and save money more wisely. Other financial planners show clients where and how to invest money (“Financial planners,” 2008). Four of the major specialty areas of financial planners include major life changes, personal finances, investments, and business finances (“Financial planning association,” 2012). Because there are so many types of financial planners, the best definition would be anyone who provides financial advice, investment management, or brokerage deals in exchange for money (“How to become,” 2013)
A financial planner is there to help clients set realistic financial goals, assess the client’s financial health, develop a plan for the client to meet his or her financial goals, and meet with the client after the plan has been put into action so the planner can be sure that the client is making good progress. The client should bring all financial documents to a meeting with a financial planner so the planner can accurately judge the financial situation of the client (“Financial planning association,” 2012).
If a client is looking for a financial planner, he or she should be sure to research to find the type of financial planner he or she is looking for. Although it will take time, the right type of research will be worth the time because financial planners can save the financial lives of their clients. A financial planner’s job is to inform his or her clients about each decision. He or she will inform their clients about how each decision will affect them. The financial planner does not make the decision for the client, but does his or her best to lead the client in the right direction. Ultimately, the client is the one making the financial decisions. The financial planner is only there to offer considerations and advice. Because of the nature of the advice, people looking for a financial planner should do detailed research to find the right financial planner. If a planner claims he or she has a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification, the client seeking advice should find where the planner got the certification and call to see if the planner does in fact have that certification. The same goes for a planner with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. Clients can go to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards site and see if that planner is listed (“Financial planners,” 2008). Clients do not want to hire a planner and later realize that the planner had no idea what he or she was talking about. One should always be careful and thorough in researching a financial planner.
The first question a potential client should ask is whether or not he or she needs a financial planner. If a person has always been good at saving, investing, and managing money, he or she may...