In this piece on how to select a financial planner, I would be sharing my personal experience and the techniques that my clients have used in the past to select financial planners.
Financial planners are one of those professionals that we cannot do without if we really want to better our finances. We all make decisions on a daily basis, we decide on what to eat, wear, drink, read, phone calls to make, places to visit, etc. we even plan for our finances (consciously or unconsciously). Failing to plan for our finances is already a plan. In this article, you will discover 7 secrets on how to select a financial planner
The importance of getting a financial planner cannot be over-emphasized. So is making the right choice of financial planner. Choosing the wrong financial planner will no doubt do you more harm than good. I will try my best not to give you high hopes but the tips you will find in the following paragraphs of this article will be invaluable to you while making that decision of taking up a financial planner, so read on.
7 Factors to consider while shopping for a financial planner
Your financial planner must have the right qualification. The world of finance today has gone beyond the era where an amateur can make much impact. This is probably more important in today’s economy of global meltdown. Many self made millionaires will agree with me on this.
It is a must that whomever you are considering as a financial planner must have the right accounting and/or finance qualification or better still, a professional student of either or both. I personally recommend CFA charter holder, although they don’t come cheap but their advice is worth every penny spent in hiring them. You can also engage the service a qualified accountant or better sill, get an investment accountant.
If you are reading this article and wished to become a certified financial planner, the best way to get prepared for the certification is to take a cfa exam prep course. One of the benefits of taking the cfe prep course before taking the actual exam is to give you a feel of what the exam itself looks like allowing you concentrate your study efforts.
Whomever you are to choose as your financial planner must be a person of integrity and a person of accommodating character. You may be wondering at this point what being a financial planner has to do with personal qualities. Well, if am to answer your question, I will say A LOT.
Likes, they say get attracted to one another. You are not probably choosing a financial planner that will end up putting you and your reputation in a nasty situation- Remember that reputation is the king in the society we live in today.
Am not talking of numbers here (as is the norm in my country where they will tell you minimum of five years of related experience). This is could be a day experience or a century or even a millennium experience. The time frame does not matter. What matters most is the relevancy of the experience in question. This will perfectly take us to the next point to consider.
Consider the personal investment/financial portfolio of the potential financial planner. To me, this is the evidence of experience or past record that can be used as criteria for selecting a personal financial/investment planner. You and I will obviously become fools to allow a man who live in an un-kept and a disordered house to teach us how to keep our house clean and in order.
Always ask for a summary of him/her personal financial/investment portfolio. It is your right. At the end of the day, your aim is to gain financial independence and you need to make sure that you are engaging a partner who has attained financial independence or is in the process of gaining financial freedom.
Knowledge of Information Technology is one thing that can never be ‘absent’ from our potential financial advisor. In fact, this ought to have come first, pardon me about that. Information Technology has come of age that it has now become an inseparable part of all facets of life – finance inclusive.
Working knowledge of relevant state of the art finance/investment application is fast becoming an indispensable skill required to either make or give good financial advice. I have seen financial advisers become computer programmers and helping their clients automating things along the way.
HUMOUR AND SOCIAL LIFE STYLE
Research I carried out in Lagos, Nigeria showed that there is a positive correlation between humour and true success. Finance is not an exemption; people with good sense of humour will have what it takes to handle some dicey situation. As salient as this point might be, always take it serious (in all areas that requires you to make selection). Probe a bit into his/her relationship with the members of his/her family- the spouse especially if any.
RATE PER HOUR (FEES)
You are not expected to spend a fortune on hiring a good personal financial planner. In as much as we look out for other qualities try and strike a balance between getting the right person for the right price or fee.
A sensible thing to do is to get as many quotes as possible from several of them and then make a decision.
Do not forget to do those things that will get you motivated, help you stay motivated and enjoy all the good things of life.