As you strike out on your own as a business professional, a necessary teammate you may not have considered involving in your career is financial planner. Financial planners aren’t only for retirees and older employees–they’re absolutely crucial to your success.
The general definition of a financial planner is: a qualified investment professional who helps individuals and corporations meet their long-term financial objectives by analyzing the client’s status and setting a program to achieve that client’s goals. Financial planners also specialize in tax planning, asset allocation, risk management, retirement and/or estate planning.
As soon as you get your first job, hire and partner with a financial planner or advisor.
It doesn’t matter whether the job pays $20,000 or $200,000 a year, your first job is a good reason to check in with a financial planner. They can advise you on how to save for retirement and potentially provide insight on how to maximize your employer’s benefit package–not to mention numerous other advantages.
Financial planners are important to your success because they’ll help you make money, and crucially, keep that money. You can also learn the habit of saving your money by having a financial planner assist you in setting goals, instead of letting the rush of an income turn into spending sprees. It can be tempting to spend more money at the beginning of your career path because individuals tend to have less financial responsibility, such as car or house payments.
Saving strategies are another field financial planners can lay out for you. When you get paid, a small portion of that income should go into savings. Save what you can, whether it’s a few thousand, a hundred, or an even smaller amount. What’s important is you’ll begin to accumulate wealth. By beginning this process at the start of your career, you’ll be building a life-long habit that will help to take care of your future.
Once you receive a steady income, another concern might be where to invest your money. Your financial planner can help identify a strategy for you that makes the most sense. It may seem you don’t have enough money to make it worth you or your planner’s time, but that would be a false idea. What amount of money you plan to save and invest is important.
It’s also vital you find the right financial planner, one who makes you feel comfortable working on your finances. This is someone you’ll share your goals and plans with, and you need to have the confidence to be honest with them about how you’ll spend your money. You have to find someone you feel confident talking to, and that you can cultivate and have trust with. Most of us know very little about investment, so we need someone who has experience.
It comes down to this: interview at least three financial planners before choosing the one who’s right for you. Here are some questions you can ask while interviewing to help you select the best financial planner for you:
- What are your credentials?
This is a basic but necessary step to understand their qualifications.
- Can you give me references?
The best way to get to know someone’s work is to either see examples of their work, or hear feedback from others who used their services.
- What do you charge?
You don’t want all the money you’re making to pay for a financial planner.
- What is your area of expertise?
Do your financial goals include saving for a house? Graduate school? A dream vacation? Or are you looking at investing? Make sure your financial planner knows how to help you pursue your goals.
- Will you act as my fiduciary?
Otherwise known as a trustee, will your financial planner be responsible for handling your finances for and/or with you?
- What services can I expect?
Most financial planners can offer you a broad selection of services–they can assist with budgeting for retirement or your next financial goal–whether that’s purchasing insurance, a house, retirement, etc. Services can range from giving advice on the best way to achieve your goal, to as integral as executing the plan for you.
- How will we settle disputes?
If you and your financial planner get into a discrepancy or dispute, how will those be solved? Will there be a mediator? Having a plan before you begin will give you a peace of mind in case conflict arises.
Regardless of whether you are in your first steps of your career path or have been a professional for years, investing in a financial planner will help you plan for your future, and give you a peace of mind to further pursue your goals.
Also published on Medium.