Personal Finance Help

If you’re already in a bit of a financial pickle, you do not want to have the added stress of getting the wrong personal finance help. Finding the right person to guide you through your money troubles, or to keep you on track as the case may be, can be an added headache at a time when you don’t really need it. Read on to discover how to find the right match for you!

First of all, it is important to keep in mind that any Joe Shmoe off the street can call himself a financial planner. He may have a college degree, but what does he really know about investments or tax planning? What you want to look for is someone who has the all important CFP designation next to his name – Certified Financial Planner. This will ensure you’re not getting a first time amateur, but someone who has been through training and has at least some level of experience.

Another good way to find someone is to ask your family and friends who they have used in the past – if someone worked well with them, chances are they will with you too. It’s also a good idea to interview at least three people to find one that’s compatible with you. And, make sure you ask for at least two references from each, and then call the clients to see how each planner handled their cases.

Once you have found the personal finance help you think will be good for you, understand exactly what services they offer. Whether it’s insurance options, retirement advice, or tax tips, not all planners provide the same services. Know precisely what they can do for you and whether that is what you really need.

Also important is to check how they plan on getting paid. Are they fee-only, fee-based, or commission-based? Whereas fee-based and commission-based planners receive commission on the products they are able to sell to you, fee-only planners are paid solely for the advice they give. You should be cautious of anyone trying to push just one or two products on you, instead of giving you the comprehensive advice you really need. Also, be aware of whether they charge by the hour, by an annual retainer, or by a flat fee.

In seeking out professional assistance, you should be sure about what your needs are before you approach anyone. If you don’t know what kind of advice you need, chances are you won’t like what you get. Let your planner ask you questions, too, to help you determine what you need and if they can provide it.

Getting the right personal finance help can often add significant stress to an already stressful situation. Make sure you know what you need and are not afraid to look for it. If a planner is not telling you what you need to hear, don’t be afraid to look for someone else. That person is there to help guide you through the tough times, not make them even tougher.

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