Do You Know Your Experts?
According to studies conducted by Prudential, slightly over 10% of African-Americans work with a financial professional. The majority feel they don’t have enough assets to benefit from professional financial planning services. I’ve got something to tell you… you might want to sit down. You do not need a net worth comparable to Bill Gates or Elon Musk to have a financial advisor. In fact, people who are working and scraping towards upward mobility need the most guidance. There are several kinds of financial professionals who help grow piggy banks of all sizes. It’s time to demystify personal finance management.
1. Certified Financial Planner (CFP): Certified Financial planners have a wide array of knowledge. They are competent in several fields of finance. CFPs are qualified to advise you on almost any question about your financial situation, such as how to gain control over your budget, what kind of insurance you need, how to make sure your investment portfolio reflects your long-term goals and how to address your estate planning needs.
2. Certified Public Accountant (CPA): If you’re looking for a well-trained accountant, CPA is the way to go. CPAs can help you prepare your taxes, advise you on how to organize your investments and estate planning so you pay the least in taxes over time and guide you on how to save for college and retirement in tax-favorable ways.
3. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): CFAs are true investing experts. Many people who earn a CFA end up working at financial institutions as money managers, or start their own investment management companies. However, unless you’re looking for someone to run a hedge fund for you, you don’t necessarily need a CFA in order to receive solid advice on personal investing.
4. Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) and Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC): Both of these designations are mutual fund experts, who might advise you on which funds are best for your portfolio.
5. Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS): Certified Employee Benefit Specialists focus on selling and administering employee benefit plans. This certification covers a subset of the CFP knowledge base, focused specifically on selling or administering employee benefit plans. If you have questions about your company’s 401(k) or health insurance, a CEBC would be a great resource.
Keep in mind, when selecting a financial advisor one should definitely verify the credentials, as well as, have a sense of trust and camaraderie with whomever you choose. You need a great communicator with strong ethics.
Coin Financial offers great resources for those who don’t know where to start. 1-on-1 counseling is available from their Expert Network of certified professionals in the fields of Accounting, Investment and Financial Planning. Hopefully this provides some insight on how best to count your coins.
Come back next month for some tips from Coin Financial Vice President, Monique Jackson (our resident accountant)!