Wednesday, January 11, 2012, AM | Leave Comment
There can be many designations – formal and informal – known to mankind for financial advisers. Sometimes we get carried away and we call them [expletive deleted] names that we can’t mention them all here. Those names are mostly from the good folks who have lost so much money over the last couple of years. And they believe it’s because of the financial advisers.
However, I think formal designations can be five:
Chartered Life Underwriter
Indicates training in insurance.
Certified Financial Planner
Includes training in principles of financial planning, insurance, employee benefits, investments, income taxes and retirement and estate planning. CFP is considered the ultimate financial guru.
Chartered Financial Analyst
Has expertise in portfolio management and investment analysis.
Certified Public Accountant
Can offer advice on tax matters.
Registered Investment Adviser
Manages the investments of others and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Such professional certifications require expertise and a commitment to ethical standards and continuing education. If the consultant is a broker registered with the FINRA, you can go to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to see if s/he has had any history of improper or unethical conduct.
The type of professional who can best meet your needs depends on what you are looking for. A small family business owner will likely have varied needs, such as investment management, business-succession planning, exit strategy, management of tax liabilities, retirement planning, insurance, estate planning, and creation and administration of a 401(k) plan for employees.
In a Nutshell
The key is to know what you want to accomplish in your personal finances and business if you have any. You must be able to prioritize what is most important to you and then find a trusted partner to help you. Find a good financial adviser.