A financial planner is a practicing professional who helps people deal with personal financial issues in areas like cash flow management, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management, tax planning, estate planning, and even business succession planning.
Basically he/she is a person who will help you, if you have no clue on how to go about handling and managing your finances. In case you are hiring the services of a planner, there are certain things that you should be clear.
Important Questions to Ask
What are your areas of specialization (if any)?
It is always better to have a person who specializes in an area that you need help with - be it taxes, investments, or insurance. A specialized person can definitely help you better than someone who is a jack of all trades.
For how many years have you been in this profession?
This question helps to build credibility since you don't want a dabbler to handle all your finances. It is also better to have references from credible clients. Do not hesitate to confirm the credibility, after all, you need to establish trust to hand him/her the rights to plan your financial matters.
How exactly can you help me manage my expenses?
This question will help you fathom, how exactly your relationship will work. This is an important question which will define the terms and conditions of the contract, and the responsibilities of your planner.
Do you have clients with similar needs?
This will guarantee whether the planner has experience in providing advice on similar products or a specific product that you are looking for. It would help if you can contact these clients and get their feedback on his/her services.
What is the remuneration that you are looking for?
Be very clear and specific while discussing the remuneration, since money matters are to be handled very carefully. Make sure you have a documented record or contract to define your agreement on the remuneration.
Do you have any questions for me?
It's fairly obvious that there's a correlation between how well an adviser understands your needs and the quality of the advice you get. That said, it's important that your planner asks the kinds of questions to help you meet your goals, even the ones you haven't thought to identify.
Remember, there are three important things that you should seek in a financial planner - his ability to guide you in matters of finance, to help you grow financially, and most importantly to ensure security of your investments.