As an independent contractor you are your own boss, human resources department, marketing and sales team, executive assistant, and administrator. Wearing all these hats at one time, means you you need a good support team to help you navigate the potential pitfalls of owning your own business and ensure you set yourself up for long term financial independence.
So what should you look for in a financial planner?
Unless you have an unusual set of financial circumstances you are looking for a certified financial planner (CFP). “Certified financial planners have passed a national test covering insurance, investments, taxation, employee benefits, retirement and estate planning administered by the CFP Board of Standards. They must meet experience requirements and abide by a code of ethics.”
Ask around to your family members, friends, hiring managers and other independent contractors to see if they have a CFP they use and would recommend. Narrow down and interview your best options. Here are some things to consider and questions to ask potential CFPs:
- How much experience do you have?
- Are you a certified financial planner?
- Do you help others in my profession namely other independent contractors?
- What is your fee structure ? Are you fee-only, fee-based with commission, fee-offset and commission only.
- How much do you typically charge?
- Do you have a minimum investment limit to work with me?
- Do you sell your own financial products?
- If I hire you will I work with just you or others at this firm?
- Do you have clients who would be willing to speak with me about working with you?
Asking these questions and talking through these issues ensures you will find the right fit for you and your financial portfolio no matter the size.
Once you have found the right fit. Be honest with them about your current financial state of affairs and your long term goals. Remember they only give you guidance based on what you have shared with them.
Taking the time to find a great financial planner can give you peace of mind in your investments and retirement planning and can give you the bandwidth to focus on building your business and your brand.
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