Staying on top of your financial plan can sometimes require some additional expertise. Here’s how to make sure you get what you need:
Know what you want. A financial planner helps you create a road map for your financial future. A financial adviser generally manages your investment portfolio.
“When you know your needs, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your service,” says Susan John, chair of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).
Follow the money. Many pros are commission-based, which means they make money by selling you investments. To avoid conflicts of interest and sales pitches, opt for an independent or fee-only financial planner, says John.
Ask the price upfront. A fee-only financial planner can cost anywhere from $100-$300 an hour. The long-term gains are worth it, says John. “You should be paying the person who is managing your financial life more than your plumber.”
Use the “F” word. Not all financial planners consider themselves a fiduciary, i.e. someone who puts your financial well-being first when giving advice, above their own gain. That’s key. “All NAPFA-certified planners are fiduciaries,” says John.
Plan ahead. Do you get professional money advice?