It's a financial planner's job to give advice pertaining to personal finance, investing and money in general. Unlike stock brokers and other professionals, a financial planner does not receive any sort of commission for his advice. Instead, he's paid a monthly fee such as that earned by an attorney or accountant.
Financial planning isn't only about investing. If a person is looking to make a lot of money in a short amount of time, he's probably not looking for a financial planner. A financial planner's goal is more long term, to provide realistic advice to keep a family secure well past retirement age. A financial planner can perform several different roles depending on his licenses and certifications. For instance, if a financial planner wants to sell stocks or insurance, he must go through all the proper legal channels to do so.
There are those who would like to enlist the advice of a financial planner but are concerned that they'll be relinquishing control of their finances to another individual. This couldn't be farther from the truth. It's a financial planner's job to guide, not to take over. While it may be in a person's best interest to follow the advice of a financial planner, he's under no obligation to do so. A good financial planner will work with the other professional advisors in your life to become part of a team. If you regularly seek the advice of attorneys and accountants, your financial planner will also work with these professionals to keep your best interests at heart.
If you're interested in choosing a financial planner, it would be a good idea to first identify your long term goals and priorities. Begin your search by asking friends, co-workers and relatives for recommendations. When you have a list of potential financial planners, check their credentials. Look for an experienced professional who is certified. You can check to see if there are any black marks against a certain financial planner through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. They're online and easy to find.
Don't forget to ask your potential financial planner about background and experience. Find out about schooling and past employment. Don't be afraid to ask for several references. When it comes to your financial future, you can't be too cautious, and a reliable financial planner will be more than willing to provide such information.