Make the Most of Your Financial Planner. Start by Choosing the Right One.

CUE believes that it’s all about you.

Like most people, you have hopes and dreams and life goals for yourself and your family. These might include buying a home or business…saving for a college education for your children…taking your dream vacation…reducing taxes or retiring comfortably. Financial planning is the process of wisely managing your finances so that you can achieve your dreams and goals – while at the same time helping you negotiate the financial barriers that inevitably arise in every stage of life.

Managing your personal finances is ultimately your responsibility. However…you don’t have to do it alone. A good, qualified and responsible financial planner can help you make decisions that make the most of your financial resources. When choosing your financial planner, you have a lot to consider and the same care should be taken as in selecting the services of any other professional.

Selection Considerations

  • Meet in person and interview your potential planner.
  • Ask in advance if there will be a charge for this initial meeting.
  • State up front that you just want to find out about the advisor’s knowledge and experience
  • Ask the questions that are listed below.
  • How do you hit it off with the advisor?
  • Does the advisor person have time for you – regardless of how much money you have to invest?
  • Does the advisor really listen to you and respect your opinions?
  • Does the advisor use jargon or does he/she explain things to you in clear terms?
  • How long has the advisor been with the firm?

What to Expect From Your Advisor

  • Help with setting realistic financial and personal goals.
  • A review of your financial health by examining your assets, liabilities, income, insurance, taxes, investment and estate plan.
  • Development of a realistic, comprehensive plan to meet your financial goals by admitting finanancial weaknesses and building on financial strengths.
  • Assistance on putting your plan in action and monitoring its progress
  • Working with you to stay on track to meet changing goals…changing personal circumstances…different stages in your life…changing markets and tax laws.

Questions to Ask…And Why

one Q.
Tell me about your background and experience.
Does the advisor have a general education or training that is specialized in this field? Does continuing education occur to stay up-to-date on investment changes.

two Q.
How long have you been in the business and in the community?
good rule of thumb regarding experience is five or more years of previous experience. It is always safer to deal with those individuals you either know or can check through reliable references.

three Q.
Who will be handling my account?
If most day-to-day work is handled by an associate or assistant, meet and check out that person as well.

four Q.
Can I have samples of plans you have done for others and can I see the reports you use to monitor accounts?
Find out how these reports will make sure that you are staying on track and meeting your goals and objectives. How often can you count on follow-up visits.

five Q.
How exactly are you compensated?
Advisors are paid in one of four ways: by fees only, by fees and commissions, by commissions only or by a percentage of assets under management.

six Q.
Have you even been disciplined for unlawful or unethical business practices?
If the answer is yes, say goodbye.

seven Q.
Will I always be able to get your suggestions and recommendations in writing?
If the answer is no, say goodbye.