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Finding the Best Fee-Only Financial Planner in 2024

What Is a Fee-Only Financial Planner?

You know you need an objective financial planner to help you reach your money goals, but finding the right one can feel overwhelming. With new regulations in 2024 requiring all financial advisors to put their interests first, fee-only planners are the way to go. However, not all planners are created equal. This article will walk you through the ins and outs of identifying and vetting the top fee-only planners so you can find the perfect fit. I’ll share tips on asking the right questions, spotting red flags, and understanding fee structures. You’ll learn key factors like fiduciary duty, transparency, and experience to look for so you can make the smartest choice. Let’s break down exactly how to find the best fee-only financial planner in New York in 2024.

How to Find the Best Fee-Only Financial Planner

A fee-only financial planner offers investment and financial planning advice for a flat fee or an hourly rate. They do not earn commissions for recommending certain investments or insurance products. This means their recommendations are unbiased.

No Hidden Fees or Sales Commissions

Their advice is objective since fee-only planners are compensated directly by their clients and not through product sales. They have no incentive to steer you into high-commission investments to boost your income. Their fees are often lower than those of traditional planners in the long run.

Fiduciary Responsibility

Fee-only planners also have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients, meaning they are legally obligated to provide financial advice in their best interest. Their only goal is to help you achieve your financial objectives.

Holistic Planning Approach

Most fee-only planners take a holistic approach to financial planning. They can help with investment and portfolio management, budgeting, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement planning. They look at your entire financial picture and how each area impacts the others.

A fee-only planner could be your best choice if you’re looking for unbiased financial guidance to plan for important life goals. Meet a few and discuss their experience, credentials, and planning philosophy to find one you trust. Your financial future depends on the advice you receive, so choose wisely!

Top 5 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Fee-Only Financial Planner

Finding a reputable financial planner can be tricky with so many options. The key is to do your homework. Start by focusing on fee-only planners. They charge by the hour and don’t make commissions from the investment products they recommend, so you can feel confident their advice is unbiased.

Check Their Credentials

Look for a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, the gold standard. CFPs have extensive training and commit to high ethical standards. Also, confirm they’re properly registered with the SEC.

Ask About Their Experience

You want a planner familiar with New York’s high cost of living and complex tax laws. Inquire about their typical clients and years of experience in the industry. An ideal planner will have at least five to 10 years of experience helping individuals in circumstances similar to your own.

Get References And Read Reviews

Don’t be afraid to ask for references from current or past clients. Also, check sites like Yelp or the CFP Board to read reviews from other New Yorkers. Look for planners with a track record of satisfied customers.

Consider Their Investment Philosophy

Discuss their investing approach and ensure it aligns with your financial goals. A good planner will develop a customized plan based on your needs and risk tolerance.

Meet For An Initial Consultation

Most reputable planners will offer a free initial meeting. Use this time to evaluate if they’re a good fit. Do they listen well and answer your questions thoroughly? Trust your gut—you want a planner to whom you feel comfortable opening up about your finances.

With the right planner, you’ll gain clarity on your financial situation and a roadmap to pursue your financial goals. The time you invest in finding an excellent planner will be well worth it.

Conclusion

Selecting the best fee-only financial planner in 2024 involves careful consideration of their fiduciary duty, fee structure, and holistic planning approach. Ensure your planner has the requisite credentials, experience tailored to your financial needs, and a commitment to providing unbiased and comprehensive advice. Choosing a fee-only planner who aligns with your financial goals and offers transparent guidance sets a solid foundation for achieving your long-term financial objectives.

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