What Can A Financial Planner Do For You?
The Role Of A Financial Planner
Individuals use a financial planner when they want to create a strategic plan for achieving their financial goals.
Financial planners can become your project managers and financial coaches for keeping you on track. They guide you back to your financial plan when you lose focus. You use them to work on your personal financial goals, not theirs. There are no right or wrong financial goals because they are personal. However, there can be wrong approaches to achieving those goals and that is what a financial planner can work with you on.
Financial Planning Needs Strategic Planning
What is strategic planning? Basically, a process. During the strategic planning process you work with the planner on identifying and defining your financial goals. Since there are so many financial goals to choose from, pinpointing and prioritizing those goals can become overwhelming. Your planner can help make the impossible seem achievable.
Financial planners can be a sounding board for you. They can steer you towards setting realistic goals. To achieve the best results you will have to be honest with the planner on what you want. If your goal is to retire by age 40 the planner can run some calculations based on your current age, income and savings to determine if that goal is attainable. So you will have to share with them some personal data about yourself. You may also have to swallow some pride if they tell you that based on your current finances you may have to push back your retirement date a few years. But then again, you can take their advice and come up with your own conclusions.
Your Financial Project Management Plan
Financial planners serve a purpose but some individuals can create their own blue-print for their financial goals. One way to formalize financial goal setting without the use of a financial planner is to make the process a project management plan. Which means to approach your goal like a project. You set the goal parameters, create the master plan, research your approach to achieving the goal and take your time in reaching that goal. It’s your financial goal so it’s your game plan.
When In Doubt, Check It Out
If you are unsure about whether or not to use a financial planner interview them before proceeding. Ask them for references. Ask them about their process. Make sure you are comfortable with their approach and process before moving forward. If they refuse to allow you to ask questions and interview them, they are not for you, find someone else.