A Financial Planner
Any money manager can call himself a financial planner. Check with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (cfp.net) to see whether yours is certified, which indicates that he or she has a specific level of experience and training.
What to Ask
- How long have you been a financial planner? How many clients do you have?
- What experience do you have in the specific area I need help with?
- How do you get paid? On a fee-only basis or by commission?
- Are you affiliated with a bank or a mutual fund? Will you be pushing the company’s products?
- Do you get paid for referrals (to lawyers, accountants, etc.)?
- Will we meet just once, or will we have an ongoing consultation?
- Do you work by phone or only in person?
- Will you offer investing options or just one recommendation?
- Will I meet with you personally or with one of your colleagues?