5 Steps To Ensure You Choose The Right Investment Or Financial Planner
As you have built and continue to run your business, we are sure you have sought advice and guidance from many professionals relating to your business and its finances such as your accountant or commercial lawyer. That same principle applies when it is your personal finances that are being considered and this is where you may wish to meet with investors or financial planners.
To clarify the difference is not easy as the two roles often overlap and you will even find two people advising on the same financial matters, with the first company designating them as a financial planner, and the second company calling theirs an investment planner.
In most cases, an investment planner is someone who, unsurprisingly, is an expert on investments, and a financial planner is an expert in several areas of personal finance, including investment planning. However, regardless of their job title, when choosing a financial or investment planner process of making the correct choice is identical in each case. For brevity and clarity, we will use the term ‘financial planner’ to represent both.
Step #1 – Determine In Which Financial Areas You Need Help From A Financial Planner
The first step is to assess what areas of your finances you need help with. It is usually the case that financial planners offer a range of services with examples being debt management, retirement planning, tax advice, superannuation, and investment planning. The specifics will be influenced by your personal situation such as your current financial position, your age and what your long-term financial needs and goals are.
Step #2 – Choose What Kind Of Financial Advice Are You Looking For
Once you know what specific financial advice you need, it is time to determine what kind of advice you want. By that we mean do you need one-off advice to deal with a specific problem or single issue? Or, are you looking for more comprehensive advice that covers multiple areas of your financial situation? Or, are you looking for financial planners that will advise you over the long term and continually help with monitoring and reviewing your finances until you retire?
Step #3 – Research Local Financial Planners
In this stage, you are going to be looking for and researching potential financial planners. The best way to do this is to ask around your business associates, friends, and family to see if any of them have used or are using financial planners they would highly recommend to you. Also, search online and make a note of which financial planners offer the types of financial advice you need. Check for accreditations, reviews, and testimonials as they can help differentiate them further.
Step #4 – Meet With One Or More Financial Planners
The vast majority of financial planners will offer a free first consultation to potential clients. For you, and others looking to find the best financial planner, it provides a risk-free means of assessing a financial planner first-hand. You can also explain to them what your needs are and hear from them directly if, and how, they can provide the services that meet these needs.
Step 5 – Following The Meeting(s) Evaluate Their Suitability And Compatibility
This is the final step where you choose your financial planner. Base this not so much on practicalities like their fees and where their office is located but more on how well you felt they understood your requirements. Bear in mind your financial planner is someone who could be advising you for many years, so you want to choose the one you are comfortable working with and discussing your finances.