What to look for in a financial planner

Many people struggle with money management and planning for the future. But working with a financial planner could help with better budgeting, saving, and eliminating future headaches.

Here are some important factors to keep in mind when selecting a financial planner.

The right acronyms

When starting your search, you may come across people marketing their services under various titles. Finance guidance counselors and financial planners might seem pretty official, but there are other titles you should look for. RIAs—Registered Investment Advisors—and IARs—Investment Adviser Representatives—indicate registered firms and professionals who have undergone substantial training and certification.

A demonstrable record of compliance

The level of trust you place in your financial planner is akin to the trust you would place in a doctor or lawyer. Their actions have the potential to impact your life in significant ways. Check to see if they have a strong record of compliance, as past performance will indicate reliability. If there is any problem with a planner’s record, note if the complaint was accepted or rejected by their regulatory agency and then decide if you are comfortable with moving forward.

Comprehensive services

Finally, you need to make certain that the planner you choose is able to meet your needs both now and in the future, guiding you through all the financial stages of your life. They should be confident in short and long term planning, appropriate investments, tax advice, legal guidance and more.

Your financial planning will likely include the purchase of various insurance policies, including life and disability. When the time comes to make these purchases, work with an experienced insurance broker for the best deal.