Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Who Should Hire a Financial Planner?


And what you could learn from one if you do.

Since I started writing this column, the most frequently asked question is: "Why should I hire a financial planner?" (or some variation thereof). Before I answer that question, I'll preface this by saying this is strictly an opinion, and like every opinion, it's limited by the perspective of the person giving it. (Remember this is true regardless of whose opinion you're reading -- the trick is to determine if the person giving the opinion has the experience and/or the authority to make it meaningful to you.)

Perhaps we can evaluate this question by beginning with its opposite: Who shouldn't hire a financial planner or adviser?

You probably don't need a financial planner if:

1. Your future vision is smaller than your past or present circumstances. If you have no intention to grow or improve your finances beyond where you are now, there's little need to prepare for it. Keep doing what you've been doing, as it will keep you exactly where you are now.

You never consult a map when traveling and when you're lost, you don't ask for directions.

Your debt is so great, there's no foreseeable way out of it in the next decade or two, because your payments don't begin to make a dent in the principal.

You enjoy paying more than you need to in taxes, fees, insurance, etc.

5. You believe the state you live in can better choose guardians for your minor children than you can in the event of your (and your spouse's) death.

You're a firm believer in keeping your head in the sand and your feet in the mud. Or you enjoy running the hamster wheel -- whichever analogy you prefer.

7. You want to work forever, and/or live on less than you do now if you ever do retire.

8. You think Social Security and Medicare will pay for your retirement.

You think you're qualified to do your own planning because you read a book or two on personal finance. (I also have a great book on cardiovascular surgery you can borrow, and a sharp set of knives.)

I could go on, but you probably can tell I'm being a bit facetious here. Most people have asked me this question (and it's also a question I get from my clients as well) because:

1. They don't think they have "enough" to plan with.

2. They mistakenly think it will cost them a lot of money.

3. They're embarrassed by their current state of affairs and don't want anyone to judge them.

4. They're operating under the false assumption that number nine is true.

Let me tell you what I learned from my financial adviser over the years (and others like him). Then you can decide if it makes sense for you to explore this further. Keep in mind that Albert Einstein's definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

1. I learned about my employee benefits (when I had a J-O-B). I found out how to get more match (free) money from my employer, and I learned the impact (cost) being a highly compensated employee had on my retirement plan.
< Previous
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

Featured Videos