Can you create your own financial plan? If you have in-depth knowledge about financial products and strategies along with a financial planning program, it is possible. But if you don’t, who do you ask?
Even before you answer this question, you are probably wondering, “Do I even need a financial plan?” Let’s consider this in another context. If you were planning a vacation to a foreign country, would you consider asking a travel agent for their help? There are many unknowns when you travel to an unfamiliar destination. Your life’s journey is similar in many ways. As you navigate through life events, asking for financial advice provides clarity and peace of mind so you can enjoy life’s journey.
Every word written in my first blog, What Does A Financial Planner Do, holds true about the role of a financial planner. My responsibility is to help you have a clear vision for what you hope to accomplish in your lifetime…and we all know it takes money to make that happen. Think of your financial plan as a roadmap to your many destinations.
The cost in preparing a financial plan may not be a concern when the value is obvious. The article, 10 Questions to Ask Your Planner, poses the question “How will I pay for your services?” Financial planners may be compensated in one of three ways: from the cost of the product; percentage of assets under management; or fee for service.
I am a self-employed CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional. My fee is charged at a flat hourly rate similar to an accountant or lawyer. I do not sell financial products, such as insurance or mutual funds, so you can be assured the financial planning advice is unbiased. Your financial plan is created based on observations and recommendations to match your needs. Most definitely, you require a team of advisors, your dream team, to pull together all the products and services you require. My role is to act as an educator and help you understand why specific processes are important and to provide you with a detailed financial plan.
Your trust in exchange for my competency to provide sound advice and to ensure our dealings are confidential is vital to our relationship. This isn’t a sales pitch. It’s your assurance that I am guided by internationally recognized professional standards of competence, ethics, and practice that are set and enforced in Canada by Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC®).
Education is an important part of being a competent financial planner. The more I learn, the more I realize I have more to learn. Some basic fundamentals of financial planning stay the same. However, tax-related topics are complex as they revolve around new legislation brought forth with changes in government. An example is the changes to Federal tax brackets in 2016. Being an expert comes with a heavy burden to stay on top of the latest trends in the financial planning industry. Attending conferences, professional development days, webinars, and networking with like-minded professionals ensures I do.
If you are seeking additional information on choosing between a fee-only financial planner or a commission-based financial planner, you’re invited to read Tom Drake’s blog, Need Financial Advice? Consider a Fee-Only Financial Planner. Being a fee for service financial planner ensures that I always have your best interests in mind. I am accountable to you. That’s important.