Many neighborhood home repair stores encourage Do It Yourself (DIY) projects with all the necessary tips and tools to achieve a successful result. But how many times has the DIY’er arrived home with a bag full of supplies and plenty of confidence only to stumble on step one of the instructions?
When you are knee deep in water from a leaky faucet, and that “easy-to-follow” diagram has you stumped, it may be time to fly the white flag of surrender and call the plumber. Likewise, when you are confused and overwhelmed with your retirement and investment accounts, maybe now is the time to engage a professional to help sort it out and help you begin to find your path to financial independence.
But if you decide to delegate this important responsibility to a trusted advisor how do you find someone who will be compatible with the type of relationship you are seeking? What is their level of professional experience and what about the alphabet soup of credentials in the financial services industry? Much has been written recently about the multitude of credentials including some that involve nothing more than a weekend class to ‘earn a designation.’
One of the most respected designations in the industry is that of the Certified Financial Planner practitioner, which requires at least three years of qualifying full-time work experience, a bachelor’s degree (or higher), and an individual must become proficient in nearly 100 integrated financial planning topics in order to sit for the exam.
The topics cover major planning areas such as general principles of financial planning, insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning.
After mastering these concepts the applicant may sit for the CFP Certification Examination, a rigorous 10-hour exam, designed to assess the ability to apply the knowledge to real-life financial planning situations and demonstrate the appropriate level of competency required to practice financial planning.
In less challenging times DIY financial planning may have seemed easy to manage but, with this troubled economic climate, perhaps now is the time to seek advice so you can delegate the task to a professional and spend time on things that are important to you.