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Five Tips for Choosing Financial Planning Services for Small Businesses

Delwin Graham & Eric Brown - Aug 28, 2020
When choosing how to invest for your future, it’s important to have someone who has an eye on the big picture. Financial planners have this macro-economic perspective.

Have you spent time planning for your financial future? Do you feel confident that you will have the resources needed to maintain your desired lifestyle? Are you ready to fund university and your future retirement?

If your answers are not a resounding, “yes”, financial planning services can help you meet these goals. Choosing the right financial planner can be a significant part of this process. Continue reading to find tips for making the right choice.

Understanding Financial Planning Services

Financial planning services work with individuals and corporations to meet long-term financial goals. They serve as an expert consultant to help clients understand and define their investment strategies. They examine goals and how much financial risk is appropriate.

The stage of life for the individual or company determines the right level of risk and class of investment. Financial planners work closely with their clients to create a plan that fits their needs. This can include tax planning, asset allocation, risk management, retirement, or estate planning.

When choosing how to invest for your future, it’s important to have someone who has an eye on the big picture. Financial planners have this macro-economic perspective. They can help with initial decisions and then mitigate risks that inevitably come up along the way.

Anyone can check online sites to learn about independent fund ratings and other information. Yet, does this give you information that’s helpful for making investment decisions? Navigating the financial investment market takes skill and experience.

Finding the right financial planner is a serious endeavor. The following tips serve as a guide for your search.

1.  Financial Planning Experience

Begin by looking for certified planners. Many financial planners have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) credential. This means they passed the exam demonstrating their professional qualifications and the knowledgebase. About 70% of financial planners are CFP® certified.

About half of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) members have been in business for 15 years or more. Years of experience working as a financial planner is an important metric to consider.

Remember, they make money when you make money. If they’ve been in business for a while, this means that their clients are making financial gains. Otherwise, they wouldn’t still be in business.

2.  References and Reviews

The financial planning services business thrives on “word of mouth”. One financial advisor stated that 80% of his clients are the result of referrals. Bank loan officers or branch managers can also provide recommendations.

When looking for a financial planner, begin by asking your friends and colleagues. Friends and relatives will often give you an honest opinion of their experience. This can prove helpful when they’re in a similar age and financial situation to you.

You can also check out the CFP Board of Standards websites. They provide lists of financial planners in your area.

3.  Different Financial Offerings

Financial planning encompasses a wide range of services. The following gives a summary of each type of offering.

Tax Services: This service can help you with specific tax issues. It can also help you determine how to optimize your tax return and decrease your tax bill. Some planners even help you prepare and file your taxes.

Planning for Retirement: Most individuals hope to reach a point in their lives where they can stop working. A financial planner can help ensure that you will have enough money to make this happen.

Preparing Your Estate: The goal of estate planning is to ease your loved one’s burden when you die. This can include making plans to address estate and other taxes. You can also plan and prepay for burial services.

Philanthropic Goals: Some individuals wish to set up and plan for a fund to help others. The financial planner can make sure this happens efficiently. They will also ensure that you receive all the tax benefits you’re entitled to.

Education Funds: People who wish to help their children complete a university degree understand the weight of this goal. The cost of obtaining a university degree in today’s world is often overwhelming. Early financial planning can make this dream a reality.

Choosing Investments: Financial planners provide advice on how to create an investment portfolio. They will show you how much you need to invest and recommend the best types of investments.

Selecting Insurance: Financial planners also help you select the types of insurance that will be most beneficial to you. Some planners are also licensed insurance agents and can sell policies. Understand that they will earn a commission, so this may pose a conflict of interest.

Planning a Budget: One of the most important foundations of financial planning is budgeting. Financial planners can help you establish a plan to pay off debt and make wise purchases. This helps individuals get the things they want without going into debt while continuing to save for the future.

4.  Online Financial Advisors

Some financial planners offer online services. These automated platforms offer low-cost advice based on algorithms. You must decide if this is the direction you want to take.

Online services may work well for new investors without a lot of money who want to start building a portfolio. This approach works best with long-term investments. The downside is that you have no personal interaction with an advisor.

5.  Financial Planning Cost

One important question to ask is how the financial planner earns money with your interaction. Some planners work on a fee-only basis. This means they charge you an hourly rate, a retainer fee, or a percent of your total investment they manage.

These individuals don’t make a commission when you sell an investment. Other planners receive commissions from the investment fund when they put your money in that fund. This presents a serious conflict of interest.

Are You Considering Hiring a Financial Planner?

Planning for your financial future can prove difficult and confusing. Most individuals aren’t well versed in the best ways to optimize their spending and savings. Choosing to use financial planning services can provide a welcome sense of security.

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management is ready to help you manage your portfolio. This means more than buying and selling investments. We work to diversify your funds across classes and sectors to optimize opportunities and mitigate risks.

We help you stay focused on the long-term picture. We know what to buy, when to buy, and when to sell. Our mission is to ensure the future financial security of you and your family.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you plan for the future.