The 4 Personal Finance Professionals Everyone Should Consider Hiring

Apr 10, 2023 4 min read

Thinking about your financial future doesn’t have to be frightening or stressful. When you’re backed by the right financial team, you can breathe easy and know that you are on your way to achieving your financial goals. The following questions can help you determine your money management needs:

  • Do you need help with a budget?
  • Do you want help investing?
  • Would you like to create a financial plan?
  • Do you have savings goals you need help reaching?
  • Do you need to get your estate plan in order or create a trust?
  • Do you need tax help?
  • Are you interested in holistic financial management?

Who Should Be on Your Financial Team?

The answer depends a bit on who you are, what your life situation is and what your goals are, but for most people, these four specialists are integral to helping you make the most of your money, protect your assets and leave a legacy for future generations. These are the professionals you can go to for financial advice.

  1. Financial Advisor

Similar to a primary care doctor, a financial advisor can take an expansive look at your finances and provide guidance and insight. They can also give input on investing decisions, help you manage your tax liability and refer you to specialists (such as a debt counselor or money coach) when you need more in-depth help with one particular matter.

The majority of people would benefit from working with a financial advisor because they can help prioritize the many financial goals that people have and can answer questions about financial decisions like college planning, life insurance and wills, and retirement planning. Working with a financial advisor is incredibly beneficial to those who are managing multiple streams of income or have wealth to invest

  1. Insurance Agent

An insurance agent helps you safeguard your property and your livelihood in the form of auto, homeowners, renters, life and long-term care insurance. They can advise you on the best policies to protect you, your family and the future you are building from risk.

While there are a variety of online insurance providers, a local agent is an essential addition to your financial team because of their connections in the community and the quality of service you receive. For example, they can suggest a local auto body shop after a fender bender. They will also meet with you to discuss where you are today and where you’re going to help you with all of life’s plans. When you’re searching for an insurance agent to join your team, think not only of price but also of the service you’re receiving and your insurance agent’s ability to work with the other members of your financial team.

  1. Attorney

An attorney or lawyer can assist you with buying/selling property (including businesses), creating a will and estate plan, negotiating contracts and more. For anyone who works in a profession that puts them at risk of litigation — like doctors, real estate professionals and accountants — an attorney can help protect your assets from any future creditors.

While you aren’t likely to interact with a lawyer very often, having an established relationship with one provides peace of mind for many worst-case scenarios. Some situations may require a specialist, and in that case, your attorney can refer you to another trusted lawyer.

  1. Accountant/Tax Advisor

An accountant or tax advisor handles your taxes, including ensuring that they have been filed correctly, finding deductions you can benefit from and filing extensions if needed. They can also help manage your charitable donations. If you’re a business owner, accountants are important in managing and communicating the company’s finances.

If your taxes are complicated, such as if they include multiple income streams, lots of deductions, foreign investments, etc., then it’s likely worth your while to hire an accountant.

What to Look for in a Personal Finance Professional

Together these people are your team. They should be able to work in coordination to serve your needs as you build your financial future. For example, a financial advisor and insurance agent working in coordination can identify a shortcoming (such as a shortfall in your life insurance) and create a plan to address it (such as an additional policy). Here’s how to ensure you make the right picks:

Know the Difference Between Analysts and Planners

In theory, analysts are focused on investment management, while planners take a more holistic approach with their clients, but both terms are so common now it can be hard to understand the distinction. That’s why we recommend reviewing credentials rather than titles. 

The chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation is a global certification administered by the U.S.-based CFA Institute and is comparable to a post-grad program like law school or medical school. The most common job titles for CFAs include portfolio manager, research analyst and risk manager. 

The certified financial planner (CFP) is a designation for financial planners administered by the nonprofit CFP Board. It focuses on more holistic financial planning, as opposed to the investment management focus of the CFA.

Ask for Referrals

The best way to find trustworthy financial professionals is to ask people you trust, especially friends and family who have similar life circumstances to you (age, income, kids, home ownership, etc.). 

Talk to Other Clients

Be sure to verify credentials before you enter into a relationship with an advisor, and don’t be afraid to ask for references. You want to be sure that the people who will be helping you navigate your decisions understand you and your goals — and that they are equipped to walk alongside you in your journey.

Be Honest and Upfront

It’s important to be transparent with any potential advisors, accountants or attorneys. Chances are they’ve seen it all before and can offer solutions that you may not have thought of yet. 

Look Beyond the Resume

At the end of the day, you want a financial team that you can trust and that aligns with your values. Trust your gut — if something doesn’t feel right or someone is making claims that seem too good to be true, it may be a good idea to ask for a second opinion. 

Start Building Your Team

If you are looking for the foundation of your financial future team, consider reaching out to a Farm Bureau agent or financial advisor. Farm Bureau Financial Services is dedicated to being your resource in protecting and preparing for your future.  Connect with an agent/advisor today

Neither the Company nor its agents or advisors give tax, accounting or legal advice. Consult your professional advisor in these areas.

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