Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Financial Planning Isn’t Just for People Who Have Lots of Money

Often, when we tell people what we do, they say “Well, when I get a lot of money, maybe I’ll come see you.” It’s understandable that some people might think this way. Many people, when they hear the words “financial planning”, seem to immediately substitute the words “investment management” for the words “financial planning”.

For some people, who hold themselves out as financial planners, this is probably true. There are all kinds of “financial advisors” out there who call themselves “financial planners” but do little more than manage investment assets. On the other hand, Certified Financial Planner® licensees who display the symbol CFP® after their name are trained in a broad range of disciplines. Included are budgeting, insurance analysis, tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning and investment analysis.

Of course some Certified Financial Planners only practice a few of these disciplines. Some brokers, insurance agents, attorneys and CPAs obtain the CFP certification to enhance their mainline business qualifications and don’t do comprehensive financial planning. Yet there are many Certified Financial Planner licensees who do help people develop comprehensive financial plans.

What people don’t realize is that a financial planner who does comprehensive financial planning can help people of modest means increase their wealth and financial security. Regardless of the size of your investment portfolio, you can benefit from help with budgeting, a review of your insurance policies, some basic estate planning, help with your 401(K) choices and the development of an investment strategy to guide you as you increase your savings.

Yes, it costs some money, but for many, in the long run, having a financial plan can help them achieve greater wealth and security than if they just continued plodding away on their own with the hope that they are doing things right.

Comprehensive financial planning involves much more than just helping people with their investments!


Blogger Chris Mullen said...

Financial planning is something that you must learn by trial and error in some cases. I am lucky to have a Finance degree, but it is still often hard for me to accurately set aside money for retirement.

August 12, 2009 at 2:58 PM 
Blogger David C. Patterson and Erin Preston said...

While we all learn by trial and error, when it comes to our money, it's best to avoid the errors, if possible. We are reminded of one of Warren Buffet's quotes, one of our favorites: "Rule # 1 - never lose money, and Rule # 2 - Never forget Rule # 1."

In many cases , the do-it-yourself investor will be farher ahead by seeking some help from a professional. The key is finding the right professional.

August 13, 2009 at 8:53 AM 

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