If you’re like many Americans who wonder what a financial planner does and how they can help, you’re not alone. Finance, financial, financial planning, financial advice, and all these terms are all around us – your local bank, credit union, insurance office, website ads, and TV commercials are vying for your attention to offer you financial help. As a CFP® Professional, even I get lost in the maze of financial professionals who offer to provide financial advice. I am not attempting to knock the credibility of your banker, insurance agent, tax professional, or any other financial professional because they all serve a specific and valid service related to a particular area of your finances.
At VenWealth, our definition of providing financial advice is consistent with the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of Advise – to give (someone) a recommendation about what should be done. I’ll take it one step further and add that we believe in advising clients on what should be done, with their best interests in mind. So how do we advise our clients with their best interests in mind? First, and most important, we would talk to you to understand your goals and why they are essential to you. Second, we spend time with you to gather data to get a holistic overview of your unique circumstances and financial situation, including your cash flow, taxes, insurance coverages, investments, estate plan, and other vital aspects of your life. Once we firmly understand your goals and look at your situation holistically, we can move to the 3rd step of providing financial advice aligned with the client’s best interest.
Everyone’s financial situation is different, and like the rainforest, your financial ecosystem is interdependent, where one financial decision can affect another financial area of your life. A financial plan is a living, breathing document that provides guidelines and action items to propel you toward your goals. There’s a saying that the only certainty is that nothing is certain. However, having a thoughtful plan in place can help alleviate the challenges that come with uncertainty.
A competent financial planner will highlight the importance of looking at your situation holistically and clearly describe their financial planning process to help you reach your goals. Most important, quality financial advice should put your definition of financial success at the forefront.
Give us a call! We’d be happy to have a conversation with you to hear about your situation, needs, and expectations to discuss how we might be an excellent fit for you. Even if we’re not the best fit, we would be happy to point you in the right direction.
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Article written by Peter Kim, CFP® on April 7, 2022