Finding A Financial Planner- the right member of your team
Where do you get your money advice from? Is it a friend who you think is money smart, maybe a parent or co-worker? Your money advice should come from a professional that can step back from the emotional side of money. Finding a Financial Planner should be a priority. We know that money is full of emotion and can affect our decision making. That is why we need expert advice and coaching that is in our best interest. I like to think of myself as a financial mentor, one who shares past mistakes, stories, accomplishments and then shares expert advice with it. We push you to participate. The reward is not only success but personal growth, healing and power.
I often talk with people that after learning about what I do for a living and hearing me speak with passion about financial awareness and literacy, ask me to review their investments and financial decisions. I then ask if they already have a financial planner and they tell me, “yah, I have an advisor guy that does my investments but I don’t really like him or trust him and we never talk about anything else. Can you check my stuff and make sure it is in my best interest?” Really? You don’t trust the guy you give all your money to handle? Should this person really be on your team? Would you hand over your child to a babysitter you did not trust? This is a sign that you have not found the right tribe member yet. You need someone that you trust and that talks to you about the entire big picture. You deserve someone that will have your back and bring out the best in you.
Today is an era of distrust and outrage. And rightly so. They make movies about the wealth and carnage in the financial industry. Have you watched the Wolf of Wall Street or the Big Short?
What you need to know
Certified Financial Planner (CFP)- a professional designation that is granted by the Financial Planning Standards Council.
Financial Advisor – an individual who renders financial services and advice. Financial Advisor is a broad term that is generally used to refer to most any one providing financial advice and products.
A Financial Advisor can call themselves a Financial Planner. That is confusing because they may or may not be certified. The term ‘planner’ is not yet regulated in Canada.
When it comes to finding a trustworthy financial planner, you are at risk. You would think that everyone presenting themselves as a financial planner is certified, qualified, competent and ethical. But, that is not the case. Currently, as I type this, anyone offering financial advice can call themselves a financial planner. It is unregulated and leaves you vulnerable. There are approx. 80,000 individuals in Canada whose only qualifications are related to selling products. However, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) must adhere to rigorous testing, accreditation, standards and has a written obligation to put the client’s interests ahead of their own. Ensure your member of your team is a certified financial planner, accredited with the Financial Planning Standards Council. You can check at http://www.fpsc.ca/find-a-planner-certificant
Slowly regulation in Canada is changing. Progress is happening. At a snail’s pace, but it is happening. The Financial Planning Standard Council is trying to change the regulation so that only Certified Financial Planners can use the term, Financial Planner. The education and professional standards of a Certified Financial Planner is strict and upholds individuals to professional standards and ethical behaviour. This is someone that you need on your team, not a sales advisor.
When people approach me and tell me they don’t like or trust their current advisor, it’s because there is a little intuitive voice inside of you that has picked up on the fact that your relationship with that person may be about selling a product. Listen and acknowledge that voice inside of you. Does this person have your best interest at heart?
“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.”―Karl Marx