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Top 7 Myths About Financial Planners: Part 2

In my previous blog, we reviewed truths 1-3 to dispel the myths about “real” financial planners..  Now we’ll cover myths 4-7.
 

Myth 4: Financial planners are only for the people with lots of money. 

 

Reality: This is perhaps the biggest and most unfortunate of the myths.  While it’s true that some financial planners work exclusively with wealthy clients, many planners offer their services to people of modest-incomes and net worth.

Sound financial planning is not just for the high-income earners or those with high net-worth. (It’s also a myth that all engineers get stock options or restricted stock).

The purpose of financial planning is to give you confidence about your finances and to help you make the most of your income, assets and other available resources.

If you earn a paycheck, you should have a financial plan.  At a minimum, you should plan for retirement and not just wait to see what happens. 

Even if you think you can't afford a financial planner, do not base your need for financial advice on your level of income or assets you have.  If you search CFP Planner Search, you will be able to find a planner who’s willing to work with you.
 

Myth 5: Financial planners aren’t worth the “expense.” 

Reality: Like attorneys, doctors and CPAs, financial planners charge for their services.  Having a professionally written financial plan is money well-spent.  Any good financial planner will help you spend, save, invest and insure more wisely and thus save and earn more money than what you pay him or her. 

Perhaps the biggest and most intangible benefit is that a qualified financial planner is going to ask you questions that you wouldn’t even know to ask yourself or find on the Internet.  (Remember, financial planning is not just about investments).

In the process, you will experience greater financial peace of mind, increased financial confidence and focus on your money, and save time and frustration by working with a CFP® professional.

If you find yourself spinning (aka analysis paralysis) or putting off important financial decisions because you just don't get around to them, it’s time to talk to a financial planner to get those off your plate and free your money.
 

Myth 6: Most people don’t need financial planners. 

Reality: In our land of rugged individualism there is a prevailing belief that you should “do it yourself.”  This is particular true among analytical types or those good with numbers, such as engineers and scientists.  As long as the economy is good and your investments are up, people think they’re okay.

Unfortunately, too many people learn painfully that doing it yourself may save some bucks in the short-term but can cost them a fortune in the long-term.  Whether it was the 2000 dot com bust or the 2007 housing bubble or the Great Recession of 2008-09, people realized too late that they could have used the expert advice and objectivity of a professional financial planner.  (I know many people who had to extend their working lives because they waited too long to get professional financial advice).

A CFP® professional can keep you financially flexible, diversified, and prepared for the downturns that happen in our economy.  They see your blindspots and help you avoid the unnecessary risk.  More importantly, a CFP® professional can keep you focused on your long-term goals and aspirations especially when everything around you is doom and gloom.  

Your financial planner is someone who provides context in our complicated financial world and supports you during troubled or challenging financial times.
 

Myth 7: All people who call themselves financial planners are licensed the same. 

Reality: To call yourself an attorney, accountant and doctor, you have earned the professional title by meeting specific education and experience requirements and passing qualifying exams.  

The title financial planner does not have the same legal standards, yet!  So, anyone can carry the label of a planner.  While many people call themselves financial planners, they are not CFP® professionals, the gold standard in financial services. 

Planners who earn the Certified Financial Planner™ designation must meet certain education requirements, have specific work experience, pass a rigorous exam and meet continuing education and ethical requirements to maintain their certificate.  And, just like attorneys, CPAs and doctors, they are held to the fiduciary standard of care—they must always put you first.

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Top 7 Myths About Financial Planners: Part 1

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