Persons seeking the services of a financial planner need to exercise care in selecting someone with whom to work. There are several criteria to be considered before a decision is made.
- Trust and Comfort. There must be a level of trust between a client and
his or her financial planner. In order for planners to render services to their
clients, the clients will need to reveal much detailed personal information about
their lives, families, finances, and their plans for the future. Clients must be
comfortable with their planners in revealing this sensitive information and must
have confidence that their planners will look out for their best interests.
- Background, Education, and Training. Financial planners come to their profession from a variety of backgrounds such as accounting, investing, insurance, and law. Each of these areas of endeavor has something to do with financial planning but no one of them represents the totality of financial planning. Financial planners need to be educated in selected aspects of each field in order to serve their clients effectively. Successful completion of a college level program in financial planning can give clients reasonable assurance that a given planner has requisite knowledge to provide services for clients. Merely being licensed to practice law or accounting, or to sell insurance or investments will not necessarily provide that assurance.
- Age and Experience. As compared to other areas of financial services, financial planning as a profession is relatively new. It has attracted capable persons many of whom are fairly young. Youth is wonderful and its exuberance is delightful, but there is no substitute for experience. A financial planner who has experienced down markets as well as up markets, who has seen the historical development of financial planning over a period of years, and who has had personal experience with the many aspects of financial planning is in a better position to serve clients than a planner who has not.
- Planner's Compensation for Services. Planners are compensated for
their services in different ways. Some sell financial products and are compensated
through commissions received from the sale of such products. Other are compensated
on a fee basis. Clients need to choose planners on the basis of what form of
planner compensation is most appealing to them.
[See the Why a Fee-Only Practice section for more
detailed information on compensation models.]
Oconee Financial Planning Services LLC
22 Running Bear Ridge Road · Blue Ridge, GA 30513
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