Certified Financial Planner

A certified financial planner has the education and the knowledge to help consumers with insurance, investments, retirement, estate tax, and other types of financial planning. To acquire certification a candidate must have at least a bachelor's degree and must pass a CFP exam. License holders must meet the requirements for continuing education classes to keep their certification. A certified financial planner has to adhere to the ethics set forth by the CFP board and be professionally responsible at all times. She must be able to work well with people and know how to evaluate a client's financial status in order to make recommendations. "I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness" (Ecclesiastes 7:25). A few of the best investments that may be recommended to a client include a savings account, certificates of deposit (CDs), stocks, bonds, and living on a budget.

One of the safest ways to save money for the future is by having a savings account. A certified financial planner may suggest a savings account if the client wants to be able to have the money saved available to her on short notice. Withdrawing money from a savings account is easy enough and usually can be done the same day the transaction is made. Savings accounts have a fixed interest rate and will probably not require the customer to maintain a minimum balance and can usually be opened with as little as $50. Having a savings account comes in handy when the customer has an emergency and needs cash. A good rule of thumb is for a person to keep at least two months salary in the bank account in case of job loss or other types of emergency situations.

Most people have planned expenditures that they can foresee coming up in the future. A certified financial planner helps a client to set goals on what she would like to have saved despite expenditures that may come up. Some possible expenditures people like to save for include a yearly vacation and a down payment on a house or a car. Planning ahead for these types of expenses will help the client to put a little extra in savings to cover expenditures and still have some left over to keep in the bank. That way there is always money put back that is making interest. The best way to guarantee that there will be some money left in savings is to keep a budget on what can be spent on vacation or decide upon a certain amount that can be put down on a house or a car.

Another choice for a safe investment is a certificate of deposit (CD). A CD should remain untouched for a certain amount of time until it reaches full term. Cashing it in before the full term period will mean paying a penalty. The longer a CD is left untouched the more the return. A certified financial planner would recommend that a client be willing to leave a CD untouched for quite a while to get the biggest return. Since banks give a guarantee on the return of a CD a person can look at the investment as safe. If a client anticipates cashing it in early she should put the money in a savings account instead.

Other investment choices include stocks and bonds. Stocks usually have higher returns than bonds do but they are subject to market volatility and can lose money. A certified financial planner can help an individual make the best choices. Buying stock is purchasing ownership in a company. Investing in a company that has a history of producing earnings is one way to make a sound choice. Bonds are actually loans that investors make to companies and they provide a fixed return to the investor. No matter how much money the company makes the fixed return stays the same. Government bonds are considered safer investments compared to corporate bonds simply because they are insured but corporate bonds often have a higher rate of return than government bonds.

Spending money wisely is something that a certified financial planner will stress with a client. Having too many credit cards is a big risk for future investments simply because in the future there will be interest on the purchases made with credit cards unless the client pays off the balances in full every month. Most people make the minimum monthly payment on credit cards so their purchases are costing them much more than what they originally paid for them. Not using credit cards can give an individual more money for the future. In order to be successful with finances both now and in the future the client will need to learn how to live on a budget and how to make wise decisions about spending money.

Every choice that a person makes that involves money should be talked over with a certified financial planner. This includes what type of insurance to purchase, what investments to make, how to end up paying less on taxes, and what retirement plan to invest in. Someone who has a degree in finances will have the knowledge to help clients to make profitable choices by considering the outcome when spending or investing money. A person would do well to find a certified planner with experience or use someone that a friend or family member recommends.

Online Financial Advice

With todays technology, online financial advice is easy to obtain. The information highway packs a wealth of information on the Internet for anyone seeking economic help, data, and other various resources. Websites designed to be informative oriented offer articles, self-help techniques, and a sundry of tools to steer a seeker in the right direction. Some sites even offer links to other sites. While some sites offer just basic or focus-specific information, other sites offer a multitude of resources and data that covers a range broader than a person could imagine. Online businesses also offer online financial advice. These companies offer a myriad of help focused on customer driven satisfaction. Between the self-help sites, and the business offering help, an individual should be able to find the help he or she needs for their pecuniary matters.

A website designed specifically to be a self-help resource for online financial advice might contain numerous advantages. The following reflects a short list offered to a seeker: financial calculators, tax help, estate planning, budgeting guidance, investment tips, and retirement plans. Web locations will offer financial calculators or will link to businesses or other places containing calculators. The calculators cover countless fields pertaining to the world of finance. An individual can expect to find calculators on subjects pertaining to interest rates, compounding, mortgage and car payments, investments, retirement, taxes, and a great deal more.

Other online financial advice can come in articles written by businesses, professionals, reporters, writers, or people who have been through similar circumstances. Because there is such a vast wealth of articles on fiscal matters, a person should be careful when reading and believing or applying that data personally. Articles cover topics such as retirement strategies, the benefits and/or downsides to buying or leasing a vehicle, managing credit, repairing credit problems, and helping kids to manage money.

Websites created for more specific self-help methods offer guides and specific step-by-step instructions. This online financial advice provides a person with a systematic process to life. Beginning with determining priorities and developing a budget to middle life stages of investments and house buying to the final years of retirement planning, these web pages guide and direct people through their life. In offering systematic instructions on investments, a look at stocks, bonds, annuities, and mutual funds, the instructions can guide an individual toward the right choice for investing in the future. The systematic online counsel also offers the opportunity to find the best solutions for health, life, home, and vehicle insurance. By offering the ability to vie for business, consumers are able to receive information and coverage at the best prices.

Other consumer friendly web pages offer up-to-date stock analysis and quotes, Wall Street news, top business news, and a myriad of other information relating to the world of finance. Reports based on Wall Street, investors, and investments are current. Updates will vary but range from minute, to hourly, to weekly changes. Online financial advice comes with knowledge on what types of investments are available, innovations, the latest in technologies, and reports from top fiduciary entities on what is the best investment. These same websites also offer tips by money gurus on investment strategies, mutual funds, retirement planning, and becoming an entrepreneur. The gurus declare that anyone willing and ready for the challenge can become an entrepreneur.

Lastly, online financial advice comes from businesses and financial experts with their own financial advice portals. Many financial consultants, investment companies, and other experts avail themselves to help others with financial matters. The advice comes customized to fit a specific personal need. Often times, consultation is free. If an individual is not pursuing self-help methods but a financial advisor, he or she should speak to at least three different advisors before choosing and paying for the advice. The conversation should precede much like a job interview. The interviewer, aka the individual seeking advice, should have a list of questions available to ask the consultant. If the advisor has a profile, the person should review the profile to have a better understanding of the matters in which the consultant is proficient. In asking questions, a person and the consultant will narrow down the possibility of the relationship being a good match and meeting the need. The mentor needs to be a person who can offer unbiased information and offer a pre-quote for the advice. The best quote would be a flat rate. A good consultation will leave the seeker feeling secure, not overwhelmed, and not pressured into pursuing a relationship with the current consultant, but confident in the consultants abilities.

Choosing the best method for online financial advice may seem daunting, but the Internet is full of help. Armed with the right questions and some knowledge on the topic most needed, an individual can easily gain further knowledge and accomplish his or her desired purpose. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7,8). In seeking to find advice, a person can rid him or herself of debt, plan for retirement, and learn to save money. Online guidance can be very helpful, but an individual should be aware of fraudulent sites or sites offering poor advice. Preparation and awareness is vital in making any plans concerning the future.

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