CFP Board, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting professional standards in personal financial planning, emphasizes how the guidance a financial planner can provide goes beyond the surface of stocks and investment advice. Instead it emphasizes the benefits of a long-term plan to help people meet their financial goals. Only individuals who have fulfilled CFP Board’s rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP® certificant, so be sure your planner is a certified CFP® professional.
It’s important to note that not all financial advisors have made a commitment to act in their clients’ best interests. As part of their certification, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals commit to CFP Board to act as a fiduciary — at all times — when providing financial advice to a client.
“As you begin to consider how best to manage your financial future, you should feel confident knowing that with a CFP® professional, you’re working with someone committed to providing the high standard of financial planning,” according to the LetsMakeAPlan.org website.
Some of the key benefits of an ongoing relationship with a financial planner include:
- Making a plan. Especially during times of uncertainty, making goals and establishing financial plans can contribute to your peace of mind.
- Understanding the laws. Financial planners can explain the implications of the latest legislation on personal finance, such as the SECURE Act, which brought changes to retirement investments, and the post-COVID CARES Act, which brought new financial planning opportunities for individuals and small businesses.
- Optimizing technology. CFP® professionals are up on the latest tools for managing your money. Technology allows for quicker and easier discussions of personal finance issues including not only stock trades, but also rebalancing portfolios, tax-loss harvesting, making income tax projections, and planning for long-term financial goals such as education or retirement.
- Seeing the big picture. A financial planner can help you take a step back and examine how your financial data fit into a plan that incorporates cash flow, expenses, taxes, and estate planning. A qualified planner knows how to keep this big picture in focus, but also how to adapt it as life circumstances change.
Visit letsmakeaplan.org for more financial planning tips and guidance and to locate a certified financial planner in your area.