Ever use a financial planner?


Has anyone ever used a financial planner to help them get their finances in order?

I assume we could take all our financial info to someone and he/ she could make recommendations about how best to pay off debt, save for retirement etc. Is this correct?

I’m not sure dh will go for the idea, but I’d really like the opinion of a neutral, 3rd party :slight_smile:

What should we look for if we decide to do this? Credentials? Experience? References?



By the way, I have been reading over the posts about frugal living and budgeting. (Dh is not thrilled about generics but he may have no choice!) —KCT


Yes I have used one before, and she was very helpful in getting our finances in order. Just be sure the person is certified, and works with a reputable firm, such as American Express or some other trustworthy source. Ask if they have references, and how long they have been in practice.

Also, be aware that they may try to sell you things like insurance policies and investments, but it’s not always a bad idea. Just listen to their reasoning and if you are not comfortable, then get a second opinion from another advisor from another firm.

It’s just like hiring a doctor to manage your care, you are just hiring this person to manage your money. :slight_smile:



What’s a ballpark figure I might expect to pay? —KCT


You know, I can’t really answer that. We purchased a comprehensive life insurance/investment plan at the time and was never charged for her services since she took a commission on the sale of the item. :frowning: I’m sorry, that’s not much help!



FWIW, you’re probably better off by researching on-line. Even though I hate when Suze Orman gives personal advice, I like her financial advices and she has a few good books on this topic.




Ballpark figure–$1000. Often, that is for the first year and subsequent years of working with the same advisor are much less–on the order of $300.

Yes, I have a financial advisor. After 20 years of doing it on my own (and doing a good job of it, I might add), I decided to get a second opinion to adjust my investments and to review such things as life insurance, retirement planning, and college savings for kids.

You should use a certified financial planner with a firm that you trust. Most of the big investment companies–Vanguard, Fidelity, USAA, and others have a separate financial advisory service. Only get a “fee for service” financial planner. That means that you are paying a flat fee and the fee is not tied to investments you make or life insurance you buy. A “fee for service” financial advisor will give you disinterested advice. Mine will tell me about financial products offered by his investment company and those offered by other companies. I can choose to buy from that investment company or another.

Finally, remember that whoever you use is an advisor and you are free to accept or reject his advice. My advisor has talked about products (such as annuities) that I am not interested in. I tell him that and he suggests other options until I find what I prefer.


KCT, I left a private message for you. :slight_smile:


In my opinion, financial planners are a waste of money. Their expertise can be had for free by reading library books on financial matters. Most people use them for investing because they don’t know how to do it themselves. I’d suggest you read Suze Orman’s The Money book for the young fabulous and broke, it’s a good place to start and explains finances in very basic terms. After that, i’d suggest you read The New Health Insurance Solution (forgot who the author is); this book explains how to save for future health care costs as well as saving for retirement. Lastly, Larry Swedroe’s book, The only guide to a winning investment strategy you’ll ever need. This book will cover just about everything you need to know about investing wisely. It’s based on modern portfolio theory, a economic/scientific approach to investing. The book actually discourages financial planners.

Good luck…


I think seeking a CFP is a good thing…seek one who has his/her securities licences (series 6, 7, and/or 63) because they have taken the time to really learn, and study the stock market. Not all have those licenses. There are also some good books out there to help, and also a good CFP will help you with your 'extracurricular" income…that is where everyone struggles. LOL I mean…I’d be a millionaire (seriously) if we would stop going out to eat so much…!:o Be open minded and try out the ideas…and who knows? You may start becoming wiser with your money sooner than you think…As Suzie Orman says…‘when we grow to love saving money as much as we love spending it…then we will be in control of our finances.’ :eek: i do like saving now more than i did, say, 5 years ago…but, it takes discipline.:o Good luck to you!


CFP’s can keep you on course though,if you visit them, say monthly…sort of like weight watchers but for your wallet.:smiley: but, i also can agree that if you’re disciplined enough to read a book…and stick to the advice…then, forgo the CFP.

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