Our founder, partner, and financial advisor, Dan Searles CFP®, RFC®, CEP®, LUTCF explains what a financial planner does using examples from his family life.
If you’ll allow me the grace of an analogy we’ll have some fun and I’ll answer our most commonly asked question, “What does a financial planner do?“
It’s in My Genes
I confess that I’ve never baked anything in my life, but my daughters, Corey Sue and Annie, are championship bakers. They have won Grand Champion prizes at the county fair for years, so maybe baking is in my genes. Because of my daughters, the Food Network often broadcasts into my house, so maybe I’ve learned a thing or two by now!
With my analogy in mind, and without any help from them, I propose to create a cherry pie.
First, I’ll identify the ingredients I think should go into my cherry pie…milk, sugar, salt, flour, and cherries.
I plan to put them all together in a big bowl, stir it up, pour it into a pie tin and stick it in the oven for, hum… one hour and 15 minutes at, oh, how about 415 degrees.
I ask you; will I have a cherry pie?
No! I’ll have a big mess!
But as a Financial Planner, I hear this sort of thing all the time. “Oh, I’ll take a mutual fund here, an annuity there, add a will I got at Staples, and mix them all up. Of course, I don’t have much experience in any of these areas, but I’ll have a basic financial plan that works…Right?”
Well, I submit that you’ll probably have a bigger mess than what I have with my pie. And the consequences to you and your family will be much worse.
Financial planning is an area of life where expertise is truly needed.
What Does A Financial Planner Do?
When you meet with one of our financial planners, we are here to help you. We take everything into consideration:
- What is your current situation?
- What money do you currently have, and what will you have in retirement?
- Do you have any future purchasing goals?
- When are you going to retire?
- What type of life are you looking for, and what is the best way to get there?
- What is the level of risk you are willing to take?
As Certified Financial Planners (CFP), we will listen to your goals, dreams, worries, and concerns. Then, we put together a plan that is aimed towards helping make those goals a reality.
- We are stockbrokers and insurance agents and can do work in these areas.
- We are tax planners but will be glad to work with your CPA or accountant.
- We are estate planners and can recommend a lawyer should you need one or we’ll be glad to work with yours if you have one.
Financial Planners are professionals who know how many things come into play in matters of money, things that not everyone is familiar with. Teaming together, we help many people work towards reducing their taxes, increasing or steadying their income streams, and, most importantly, providing financial confidence.
That’s what a financial planner does. They take your unique situation into consideration and find the best option for you. They want to get you into the best position possible, so you can have the life you want.
Who Can you Trust?
My broker says it’s time to get back into the market. The guy on the radio says we haven’t seen the worst yet. My neighbor thinks it’s a great time to buy. My brother-in-law took all his money out of the market. I don’t know who to listen to!
-Scared in Maryland
You need to find a financial advising professional that you can trust. There is an art to this, but we suggest that you take the time to ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives about their relationships with their financial professionals.
If your friends like them, chances are you will as well. In addition to the personal recommendation, you’ll want to consider their credentials. But remember, however impressive their credentials are, that doesn’t mean you will get along or that they will have expertise in your specific areas of financial concern.
Getting The Pie Right
When considering a financial planner to discuss your future with, be sure to do some homework on them. Just like there is more to you than your money, there is more to a planner than the company name. Take the time to find a financial planner with the qualities you are looking for as well as someone with the expertise to help you pursue your financial goals.
At Medallion Group, we offer a free consultation so you can ask questions to see if we are a good fit for you and your needs. Schedule an appointment today!
Once you arrange your interview, ask as many questions as it takes to come out with no doubt that you are doing the right thing. Then, you’ll have more confidence to be able to sit down with a slice of cherry pie in the future, not a block of burnt, cherry-flavored flour mess.
At Medallion Financial Group, we believe financial planning is about Family. We have been helping families invest in the future since 1987 through a holistic planning approach. We recognize there are a variety of needs when it comes to retirement planning, plan rollovers, annuities, college planning, life insurance options, and investment management. It is easy to get lost in a sea of choices. Our financial advisors help with the basics and beyond to enable our clients to get the education, advice, and management they need to retire with confidence.
Our focus is twofold: first and foremost, we are fiduciary advisors. We stand against any violation of laws, values, and ethics. Second, we treat our clients as part of our family, not only those who call Maryland and Georgia home, but clients across the US who have benefited from our reputation of personal service, integrity, and expertise.
We strive to exceed client expectations – because we have high expectations of ourselves.