The first place to start is by asking for names or a soft introduction from friends or business associates who use and recommend a particular Certified Financial Planner. Other business professionals such as attorneys, accountants, bankers, insurance agents and other financial professionals could also be good resources as well as they often have working relationships with one or more CFP®.
Information to Gather from the CFP® Professional
• Financial Planning and other designations the planner holds.
• Years of experience in the planning business.
• Services the planner provides.
• Any areas of specialization of the planner.
• Licenses to transact business in particular financial products.
• Typical type of client the planner serves.
• Professional affiliations or memberships.
• How the financial planning process will work.
• Will the planner create the plan and implement recommendations.
• How will the planner be compensated?
• Any conflicts of interest that may arise by doing business with the planner.
To gather more information on a prospective financial planner ask for a written disclosure documents. Most planners have a form ADV or something of equivalency that will help answer many of your questions.
A face-to-face interview with a planner should give you a good sense on how it will be to work with the planner and if your goals or needs will be able to be met. Having open communication and building trust with your planner is imperative to a successful planning relationship.
*Information sourced from the Financial Planning Association at plannersearch.org
Matt Stutes, CFP®
Cornerstone Wealth Management
486 NW 2nd St.
Canby, OR 97013
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.