Financial planning is an obvious necessity. Without our ability to plan our own finances, we wouldn’t be able to save, invest and improve our situation. While we all know and understand its importance, we often fail to meet our own financial planning needs. This leads to a feeling of hopeless as if we are incapable of managing our own money. Fortunately, it’s often just a failure to create clear direction.
Working with a certified financial planner is one way to aid yourself in accomplishing your financial goals. This is someone who has your best interest in mind and can help you sort out your income, expenses, needs, wants and financial ambitions. Upon leaving a certified financial planner most individuals feel a sense of empowerment and happiness, knowing they have taken a major step in moving forward with their lives.
Certified financial planners follow the four E’s:
Not every financial planner is certified. A CFP is someone who has dedicated themselves to the four E’s of financial planning.
Education – A CFP professional must pass a comprehensive series of 6 complex financial planning courses. In addition, they must have already obtained their Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited and nationally recognized college. Their education is based on practical and theoretical knowledge, giving them a broad understanding of the history and importance of financial planning. The CFP board must approve the curriculum of the school or institution.
Examination – All certified financial planners must pass the CFP Certification Exam. This is a test designed to see how the individual reacts to real-life scenarios that require financial planning knowledge. The exam is very extensive and covers taxes, the process behind financial planning, benefits, retirement, estate planning, investments and even insurance.
Experience – A CFP professional must have a minimum of 3 years of experience before they are considered for certification. This experience provides practical, hands-on knowledge in financial planning.
Ethics – A CFP is held to a very high standard and has a guideline for conducting themselves professionally. They are required to uphold common principles and moral codes such as competence, fairness, integrity, professionalism, objectivity, confidentiality and diligence. A CFP must place the interests of their client ahead of their own. If found that a CFP is violating this rule, they are subject to Board sanctions where they could have their certification removed.
Certified financial planners help in a wide variety of ways:
A CFP is trained to help their clients in as many ways as possible. They want to ensure that all aspects of financial planning are covered and in order to do this, they specialize in every area of importance.
The financial planning process: A CFP must know this like the back of their hand. They know exactly what steps need to be taken to organize, understand and educate their client on their finances.
Tax planning: Paying taxes is a major part of earning income. As a tax payer, you are required to pay taxes through complicated tax codes. Unfortunately, taxes are a rather daunting task. Being prepared for tax season is very important and your CFP can help you better understand your tax payments and what you owe. This is particularly useful for those who own their own business or are self-employed. The CFP’s at Wealth Guardian Group have experience in Taw Law, payroll, bookkeeping and all other aspects of tax preparation.
Insurance: With all the forms of insurance available today, it can seem like a large portion of your paycheck is devoted to protecting yourself and your possessions. Insurance is a financial expense that we all recognize as important because in a time of crisis, it can save your finances. Insurances such as life, health, disability and annuity are very important and your CFP can help you organize these payments and better understand how your finances are being used for insurance payments.
Investment Management: As you start to obtain wealth, you realize that this wealth can be increased through strategic investments. By managing your investments wisely by working with a certified financial planner, you can begin to take charge of your finances in areas you thought you never could. Getting involved with stocks, your 401K, IRA’s, social security and pensions are all within the realm of possibilities.
Legal Documents: In addition at Wealth Guardian Group we help you sort out a Living Trust, Living Will, and Powers of Attorney.
If you have any questions on financial planning or how working with a certified financial planner can be beneficial, please contact us.