Working with the right financial advisor is the single most important step you can take to ensure retirement success. Yet with so many experts, advisors, and salespeople out there, it’s difficult to know how to find the right person for the job. Zynergy Retirement Planning will break down what you need to know regarding financial planners and give you all the information you will need to make an informed decision when choosing a Certified Financial Planner you’d like to work with in Middletown, NJ.
The Importance of Working with a Certified Financial Planner
A CFP®, Certified Financial Planner, is a financial professional that has met the rigorous qualifications of the CFP® Board of Standards. These individuals are required to take extensive coursework in the financial planning process, insurance, investments, retirement planning, tax planning and estate planning; a course load that takes nearly two years to complete. The CFP® Candidate must fulfill a 3 year experience requirement, pass a 10 hour exam and uphold an ethics oath before they are eligible to use the CFP® title. To maintain the title, CFPs® must engage in 30 hours of continuing education every two years to keep current with the constant changes in this field. That is why when it comes to working with a professional to plan for retirement, it is important to make sure they are a Certified Financial Planner.
Types of Financial Planners
The next big decision is what type of Middletown financial planner to hire. Among Certified Financial Planners, the industry gold standard, there are three types of compensation models which may affect the type of experience you have:
- A Commission-Based Financial Planner receives 100% of their compensation from commission sales. Their incentive is primarily to sell you one of their products, rather than provide sound financial advice. A simple analogy would be a car salesman at a dealership, who is trying to push you towards an expensive sports car even though you have made it clear you need a family-friendly that meets your budget and safety requirements. The salesman clearly does not have your best interest at heart, and you’ll have a frustrating experience as a result.
- A Fee-Based Financial Planner earns a small fee from their clients in addition to commission sales. This is an effort to get a planner more invested in their client’s success as opposed to getting the sale, but the majority of their compensation is still based on selling products, so there is still a conflict of interest. Imagine another car salesman who points you towards the family car you are looking for, but keeps pushing expensive features you do not want or need.
- A Fee-Only Financial Planner earns 100% of their revenue from their clients. They do not receive any commissions or compensation of any kind on the financial products they recommend. There are far less conflicts of interest, and their only goal is their client’s success. In the case of the car dealership, this salesman shows you the car you need, helps you decide which features you need and which you do not, and tells you how you can get the best deal.
Benefits of Choosing a Fee-Only Financial Planner
A Fee-Only CFP® is not only qualified, but they also have your best interest in mind. What exactly is it that makes a fee-only financial planner a better option for most people than the other options? We have three major reasons choosing a Middletown fee-only financial planner is in your best interest.
- Fewer conflicts of interest. A fee-only financial planner has no incentive to pitch options or promote funds that would benefit them more than it would benefit their client. While fee-based planners can provide perfectly good service to their clients, it does open up questionable relationships between clients, planners, and investment options. You can avoid any questionable intent by working with a fee-only financial planner.
- The focus is on financial advice. Fee-only financial planners are there to provide the best financial advice, and not try to sell financial products. Providing good advice on where to put your money is good for you, which will end up being good for them too. It’s a win-win situation.
- Percentage based payment options. Most fee-only financial planners will charge a percentage of the amount of money they manage. Once again, this incentivizes a fee-only financial planner to be as efficient as possible with your money, as the returns will ultimately benefit both parties. If you make money, they make money too.
Make Sure Your Financial Planner is a Fiduciary
On top of choosing a fee-only financial planner, you should also make sure they are a fiduciary. This means they are required to act in the best interest of their client when handling retirement investments. A financial professional who is not a fiduciary has no obligation to put the needs of their clients ahead of their own.
Contact a Middletown Retirement Planner Today
If you are living in Middletown, NJ, and are near or in retirement, it is important to hire a Middletown Certified Financial Planner you can trust. As a fee-only CFP® and fiduciary, we build successful, productive long-term relationships with our clients through unbiased, objective financial advice. Contact Zynergy Retirement Planning today to learn more!