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No matter where you are in life, a CFP® professional will deliver the highest standard of financial planning service to make sure you’re on the right track. From planning for retirement to saving for college, CFP® professionals are trained to help you develop a comprehensive strategy to reach your short and long term financial goals.
Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Just about anyone can use the title “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled the CFP Board's rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP® professional.
CFP® professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure financial planning recommendations are in your best interest. What’s more, a CFP® professional must acquire several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam before they can use the CFP® designation.
Financial planning is a dynamic process. Your financial goals may evolve over the years due to shifts in your lifestyle or circumstances such as an inheritance, career change, marriage, house purchase or a growing family. As you begin to consider how best to manage your financial future, you should feel confident knowing that with a CFP® professional, you’re receiving the highest standard of financial planning service.
Financial planning can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your introductory meeting with a CFP® professional.
Set Aside Some Time
No two meetings with a CFP® professional are the same, but the first one will take some time. Be prepared for a lengthy discussion about your finances to help your planner get started.
Think About Your Goals
There’s no avoiding this question - your planner will ask about your financial goals in detail and likely ask you to prioritize them, too. Take time before your meeting to consider your top short- and long-term goals.
Prepare to Be Open
Your CFP® professional needs to have a comprehensive understanding of your financial life, as well as your attitude toward risk and experience with money management. Depending on what services you've asked for, your planner may analyze your assets, liabilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments and/or tax strategies.
Once your CFP® professional understands your financial situation, they will outline a process for developing their recommendations. Before you proceed, make sure to discuss fees, potential conflicts of interest and details of your working relationship. And don’t be afraid to ask your planner the tough questions.