The Power of Financial Planning, Part Five

Make It Personal: Why Customized Advice Matters When Working With a Financial Pro

Here in the final installment of a five-part series on The Power of Financial Planning, we look at the all-important personalization aspect of financial planning — how a person who works with a financial professional should expect to receive individualized advice and services, and how to determine that’s what they’re getting.

When a person works with a fitness trainer, they expect a workout that’s tailored to their abilities, limitations and goals. When a person consults with an architect to design a new home, they expect the plans will reflect not only their vision for the home but also the personal financial parameters for building it.

Similar expectations should apply when a person works with a financial professional. As unique as every person’s financial situation and goals are, they deserve — and should expect — a financial professional to deliver services, strategies and recommendations that are customized to their specific circumstances and priorities. Everyone wants the means to live a comfortable, financially secure life and to achieve their goals. A whole host of variables must factor into the process of determining how best to get there, including a person’s age and stage of life, family circumstances, income, assets, health status, personal and professional aspirations and much more. Given how much these factors tend to vary from individual to individual, a well-thought-out, personalized approach to handling your finances is much likelier to lead to positive financial outcomes, both now and in the future, than a one-size-fits all approach.

“At the end of the day,” says FPA member and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional Mike Giefer, JD, with the Johnston Group in Minneapolis, MN, “it comes down to me understanding each individual’s financial DNA — their personality type, what makes them tick as people and in terms of how they handle their money.”

How do you know the professional financial guidance and services you’re getting are personalized for you? Here are seven indicators to look for:
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