April is Financial Literacy Month – Assemble a Financial Team

_financial_literacyI was meeting with a client recently and discussing updating their financial plan. During that meeting I described my analysis of the financial planning data as a puzzle. Sometimes the puzzle just “fits”. Sometimes it gives me fits!

In any case, using a financial planning professional with the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or ChFC (Chartered  Financial Consultant) designations is a smart move. They can really help you work your own financial puzzle.

In Step 28: Assemble a Financial Team is a pretty important step. These are the people who are giving you advice. If you haven’t done a good job checking their credentials ahead of time, it could set your progress back quite a bit.

Some of these financial professionals will include:

Tax advisor. Tax advisors can be invaluable. They provide quite a bit of information on tax rules, tax returns and strategies that could work well for your situation. Be careful. I’ve seen quite a few mistakes and bad advice for numbers clients. It always amazes me how many clients trust these folks from the beginning due to their fear of the IRS.

Attorney. Attorneys can be a central part of your financial team. They can prepare wills and trusts and documents for your business. You may also go to them for more complex estate planning. Do your homework, ask around and find out who has good credentials.

Wealth Advisor. A competent wealth advisor will be the quarterback of your team of advisors. Wealth advisors can do comprehensive financial planning and investment management. They can tell you when it’s time to consult with a tax advisor or seek out an attorney. By working with a wealth advisor and completing a financial plan, it may save you some money when you consult with the other advisors.

Make sure you are really comfortable with the team of advisors you select. Check them out before you do business, and make sure your personalities mesh. The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable asking questions…no matter how many you have.

Think of it this way, you are hiring (hopefully) a financial partner for life.

Are you happy with your financial team? If not, give me a call at (859) 225-2595.