Should You Get a Financial Planner? Yes—and Here’s How to Go About It    

Jan 18, 2023 | News

By Missie Berteotti, Financial Advisor, Luttner Financial Group              

In some areas of life, we need to be saved from ourselves. By that I mean there are certain tasks that shouldn’t be DIY projects. Monitoring and building your wealth through investment is one such task.

Wealth management is complex. There’s too large an opportunity cost in trying to learn all of the various aspects of financial planning. Make a decision that you don’t have the expertise or time required to attend to this area of your life and then decide you are going to hire someone. When you find the right financial planner to support you in this category of life, you’ll receive far more in benefits than what you would ever pay in fees.

You need to find someone with integrity—an advisor with good core values. You can interview advisors and ask them about their life, how they manage their money, and why they chose to become a Financial Advisor.

Make sure you understand how the advisor is being compensated for investment advice or transactions. There are several different models for compensation. Robo advisors, which are automated financial advisors providing algorithm-driven wealth management services, leave you with little to no human interaction. They  do have lower fees, but in my experience, the adage prevails: “You get what you pay for.” 

Expertise:  I can’t stress enough the importance of an advisor’s expertise, training, education, and certifications in the profession.  The most respected designations for advisors are Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), and Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC). It is also important to make sure your prospective advisor has not had scrapes with regulatory authorities or experienced a history of investigations for misconduct.

Service:  Will you hear from them on a regular basis and how will they communicate with you?  Is there someone in the office who will always be available?  Will you have to answer security questions each time you call because there is a new employee every six months?   Having an excellent golf coach whom you can’t see very often because they’re too booked up is not going to be much help to your golf game. Indeed, it’s not just frustrating but unethical for an investor to be kept in the dark about a new development that could affect their portfolio. The advisor could cost the client a lot of money by not keeping them apprised of major occurrences.

Patience:  Will your advisor take the requisite time to explain, methodically and patiently, their recommendations? One of the biggest red flags is finding yourself unable to understand your investments, especially if your advisor isn’t able or willing to explain to them when asked. 

Take Action:  Taking stock of what this article lays out, you’re in position to simply trust yourself to make the best choice in a partner/coach/holistic Financial Planner. That is what I did many years ago. I hired LFG to manage me personally many, many years ago. I am extremely glad I did that. My level of certainty as to what I’m trying to accomplish, and how to best achieve that result, is very high. I invite you to call me and talk about what is on your mind and have a conversation. 

We do “discovery meetings” via Zoom all over the country with our clients. You may not even know where you are not optimizing your assets and/or where you are at risk with how your plan is set up.    

Our resources extend globally and are not held to any one company. Simply put, financial planning is not differentiate by investing in certain financial products, it is now more than ever about SERVICE AND ADVICE. I would sincerely appreciate a role in SERVING my fellow golf professionals and the people you love. Thank you for the opportunity to formally introduce myself. 

You can check out the website of Lifetime Financial Growth LLC, of which Pittsburgh-based Luttner is a subsidiary, by clicking on this link.