Most people don’t run into problems managing their own finances and then there are those who wouldn’t know where to begin. Even for those financial experts out there, personal financial planning can become a difficult task to accomplish. There are problems such as not having the time or a complicated situation that causes you to be in over your head. This is when the assistance of a professional finance planner becomes a priority.
In order to hire the right person, it is important that you understand what to look for and what to avoid. You better understand what you want out of a financial planner. Are you in need of some comprehensive planning advice? Does your retirement portfolio need reviewing? Are you having difficulty putting together a business plan? Different companies have different areas skills they are best at, so it is important you find one who can best help you with your specific situation.
When looking for an expert in the financial planning industry, the trick is to find a company or individual that has experience working with people in the same position as you as far as income and debt goes. The last thing you want to do is hire a financial planning service company that only handles large companies and has little to no experience with individual, personal finances. In your first screening interview, try and get as much information as you can about their services and experiences. It’s OK to discuss your own personal history if it is relevant.
Jot down a small list of related questions to the situation. If there are any special concerns or requests you feel are important, like investment help, debt management or budget consultations, then include them in your list so that you don’t forget. Request that they give you specific answers to your questions and not dance around the subject. Be careful of anyone who ignores or laughs off your questions. Also, stay away from someone that is ambiguous with their answers.
Ask about their charges and fees. What do all of these charges cover? Some companies create an invoice for every transaction. If yours does this, then there is a good chance of you paying more than if you are billed a monthly or flat fee. It is important that before you make any commitment that you understand if their charges are all inclusive or if there are any extra charges involved, like fees for filing or photocopying.
If you are having trouble finding a company that offers financial planning services, try going through your tax office. Another way is ask the local representative of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.
Once you’ve found a company that you think will fit all of your needs, schedule a meeting and try to develop a rapport with them. Ask to speak with the person who will be actually handling your finances and not their assistant. The important thing here is to get a feel for how they react to difficult questions and situations.