Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
A financial planner should be able to provide the following: a clearly written plan, in language you can understand, containing a balance sheet of assets vs. liabilities; an explanation of goals with advantages and disadvantages of any course of action; options and alternatives for all investment choices as well as the risk estimated in each investment objective; specific suggestions for improving your personal cash flow; projections for shifts in the rate of interest, inflation, and other situations that will affect your future; a plan for liquidity in the event of emergencies; and a schedule for reviewing your financial progress.
In most states, financial planners are not regulated. As anyone can say he or she is a financial planner, you need to be cautious and check out the person's credentials. Also be on guard for "financial planners" who are no more than salespeople for a particular type of product, such as stock or insurance.