Wealth Planner

experienced wealth plannerWorking with an experienced wealth planner can go a long ways toward financial peace of mind. A qualified professional can help you identify needs, pinpoint possible income gaps, and generally make your planning more efficient. But as millions of Americans can attest, hiring a well-suited wealth planner can be a challenging task.

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Retirement, and financial life in general, is more complex today than it was in the past. It pays off to work with someone who understands these dynamics well. Consider enlisting guidance from someone who has knowledge of different retirement areas, including:

  • Retirement planning
  • Income planning
  • Guaranteed insurance planning
  • Wealth preservation strategies
  • Risk management
  • College & educational saving strategies
  • Estate planning
  • Wealth transfer strategies
  • Financial services

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You can simplify your financial life and enjoy secure peace of mind. By using our Find an Advisor section, you can connect directly with a financial professional and get started on the road to achieving your financial and income goals.

Hiring the Right Wealth Planner Checklist

Finding a suitable wealth planner doesn’t have to be an arduous process. As you conduct your search, here are some central considerations to keep in mind. You may want to base some of your search and judgment criteria off these factors as a foundation:

What are the wealth planner’s credentials? Before choosing any financial professional, always verify their credentials. Do they have the required licensing for any planning strategy options they offer? For example, if you wish to investigate income planning options with guaranteed insurance products, a prospective wealth planner should hold all required insurance licenses in your state.

Credentials also extend beyond the scope of licensing requirements. Be sure to clarify with your prospective financial professionals:

  • What their specialty is, or what their specialties are
  • What their background is in and whether it pertains to your individualized wealth planning needs
  • Any industry designations or certifications which could enhance the appeal of their wealth planning advice

wealth planner servicesHow do they start the discussion? A credible wealth planner will start a discussion by asking your needs, financial circumstances, risk tolerance, objectives, time horizon, and other personalized variables. If an initial phone consultation or in-person meeting focuses more on getting to know you personally, you should be wary.

Inquire about their professional pedigree. Ask the prospective wealth planner about their professional qualifications. We touched briefly on this in the last point, but professional designations such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) credentials help strengthen credibility. Inquire about whether they have general financial education, or have an educational background in the wealth planning field with which you need help.

The majority of established wealth planners have a track record of consumer education. Ask for authored materials on wealth planning educational topics, including:

  • Newsletters
  • Financial columns
  • Editorials
  • Published books
  • Informative videos
  • Reports
  • White papers
  • Commentaries
  • Or other sources proving professionalism

If they have a portfolio of credentials – think of this as a curriculum vitae of sorts – readily accessible for you, that is another indicator they are on top of their game.

Confirm whether they are an independent or captive party. Whether a wealth planner is an independent or captive professional matters greatly. Broadly speaking, independent parties have more business freedom, which translates into more choices and planning options for you. Captive professionals tend to be more tied to a single or few parent companies for their business model, which can cut down on planning options available to you.

Ask your wealth planner whether they are captive or independent. And if you would like to discuss how guaranteed insurance solutions may fit into your wealth planning needs, clarify how much insurance carriers they readily work with. Independent professionals will work with many companies and not have relationships with just one or a few.

how to hire a wealth plannerWhat is their wealth planning philosophy? An effective method for scrutinizing a wealth planner’s professional efficacy is to ask about their philosophy.

  • What is their philosophy on wealth planning?
  • What recommendations would they feel comfortable discussing with/giving to their daughter or son? Mother or father? Close friends?
  • What is their personal strategy for wealth planning, including for prolonged retirement income, wealth protection against market effects, generational wealth transfers, and so forth?

What is their experience? Does the wealth planner have experience in the specific area in which you need assistance? It might be helpful to inquire about the following:

  • Whether they have experience in helping clients through period(s) of market downturn
  • If they have been through helping clients navigate the challenges of a recession
  • How long they have been in practice, and how long in the financial industry in general
  • How much experience they have in applying different wealth planning options or offering related services
  • Whether they any professional affiliations with local chambers of commerce, professional societies, industry trade associations, and other credible civic organizations
  • To share how much, in dollar value, they have assisted clients in putting into wealth planning strategies in their practice
  • If they can give you referrals from other clients, who can be contacted to ask what their experience was like, and what their impressions of the wealth planner are

Need Help Finding a Wealth Planner?

If you're looking for a wealth planner to help you, can assist you. Use our Find a Licensed Advisor section to connect directly with an independent financial professional, and to request a personal strategy session to discuss your needs and goals. And should you have any questions or concerns, call 877.476.9723.


Author: Ian

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