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INTERVIEWING FINANCIAL PLANNERS

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You've come to the decision that you'd rather hand off the reins of your financial plan to someone else. Nothing wrong with that. We understand that. We believe that people may not be comfortable with this area of their life and want an expert to guide them even beyond what you have hopefully learned in these pages.

Dollar Signs
We believe you should ask the following ten questions of anyone you are interviewing for this job. And we suggest that you talk to at least three people before deciding. We thank the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards for the questions.
  1. What experience do you have? Learn how long the planner's been in business.
  2. What are your qualifications? Look for proven experience.
  3. What services do you offer? Some sell products - others just advice.
  4. What is your approach to financial planning? Learn if the planner is conservative, ambitious, or somewhere in the middle. It's important that the planner cover all the bases of financial life - investments, insurance of all types, estate planning, etc. The planner should help you in these areas or send you to those who can.
  5. Will you be the only person working with me? Ask to meet others if there will be some.
  6. How will I pay you for your services? You want to know if there are fees, commissions or a combination.
  7. How much do you typically charge? Flat rates, hourly rates, commissions?
  8. Could anyone besides me benefit from your recommendations? Seek possible conflicts of interest in writing.
  9. Have you ever been publicly disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your profession? Ask what agencies regulate his or her work. Check with those agencies for any problems.
  10. Can I have it in writing? Get a written list of services.
  11. BONUS QUESTION - Is there anything I should do different or change anything I'm thinking of doing as a result of the events of September 11 - 2001?
Dollar Signs
That's a good list and will get you well on the way to finding the right person for the job. We want our visitors to have all the best chances to achieve their goals.

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