Financial Planner


DEFINITION of 'Financial Planner'

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 specialize in tax planning, asset allocation, risk management, retirement and/or estate planning.

Also referred to as a "Registered Financial Planner," when the financial planner is registered with the Registered Financial Planner Institute (RFPI).

BREAKING DOWN 'Financial Planner'

Interview at least three financial planners before choosing the one that's right for you. Be sure to get the answers to the following questions:

1. What are your credentials?
2. Can you give me references?
3. What do you charge?
4. What is your area of expertise?
5. Will you act as my fiduciary?
6. What services can I expect?
7. How will we settle disputes?

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards certifies financial planners. To check the status of a certified financial planner and for a guide to choosing the right person for you, visit the CFP Board of Standards website. Also, there are several associations to help you find a member in your area, including the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the National Association of Financial Advisers (NAPFA).

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