Financial Planning Days: What to Ask a Certified Financial Planner

Posted on 10/03/2013

Retirement planning, paying for college and getting out of debt are a few of the financial tasks that a Certified Financial Planner can help you accomplish. During Financial Planning Days, which run from now until November 2 hundreds of financial planners will offer free financial counseling in 20 cities around the country. Wondering what to talk about during your free one-on-one consultation? Here are six questions to ask a Certified Financial Planner.

How Do You Charge For Your Services?
You want to make sure you know how the financial planner is getting paid. Be skeptical of those who make money from selling you certain products. You'll want to find out right away if they have an incentive for selling you things.

What Is Your Investment Approach?
Whether you know it or not you probably already have a financial philosophy. It's important to have an advisor who is in line with your feelings. Find out if they prefer a more conservative or aggressive approach.

How Much Money Do I Need for Retirement?
By determining how much money you'll need at retirement a financial expert will be able to tell you what you should be setting aside every month. They'll give you a roadmap for achieving the type of retirement you want to have.

Am I Overexposed?
Most investments involve some element of risk. But a balanced portfolio will ensure that your investments are diversified. Ask your Certified Financial Planner if you are overexposed. You'll have a better idea of the level of risk you are taking.

How Often Do We Need to Meet?
It's great to have a financial planner who is available when you feel the need to ask a question or reevaluate your financial goals. Find out how often they prefer to meet in order to get a better idea of the quality of service they're likely to provide. Typically an annual face-to-face meeting will suffice, but it's good to know that they're available to help when you have a question or concern.

How Do I Know If I'm Doing Well?
When it comes to financial planning, results rarely happen overnight. Find out how you'll be able to measure if your financial planner is doing a good job. Most experts say your portfolio should at least do as well as the market averages, but you'll want to make sure you're on your way to meeting your financial goals.

By Alison Storm

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