When I talk to people about what I do as a Financial Planner, there tends to be a lot of variances about what exactly “financial planning” means and what a Financial Planner does. Some think I only make investment decisions for people. Some think I’d never make any investment decision for people. Some think I only sell financial products to people. Some think I talk in theory about investments but would never handle a financial product for a person. I’ve been asked to file someone’s taxes (can’t), help with a real estate transaction (nope), draft a trust (negative) and give legal advice (not even close). I find it very interesting that very few people know what exactly Financial Planning is…yet every person deals with financial planning, in some capacity, every day.
Let’s dive in:
According to the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning (Practice Standards B.1 January 2020), the definition of Financial Planning is: “A collaborative process that helps maximize a Client’s potential for meeting life goals through Financial Advice that integrates relevant elements of the Client’s personal and financial circumstances.”
Want to know what I find interesting about this definition? It says NOTHING about investing. Or selling products. Or taxes. Or retirement. Or stocks, insurance, mutual funds, economic data, interest rates, earnings calls, college education accounts, mortgages or basically anything that anybody mentions when I ask people what “financial planning” is.
It's goal planning. Plain and simple.
What is YOUR goal and how can WE work together to get you there?
I think this simple statement can become complex when the role of the Financial Planner becomes too complex. I would encourage any prospective client to pop the hood and find out if a professional’s practice shows 1-2 “solutions” (AKA: financial products), does that professional’s practice give unique advice, have unique solutions for families in unique situations? While there are defiantly trends, not every financial goal can (or should) be solved with a diversified growth model investment portfolio.
Financial planning is the business of giving advice….the financial product sale is just the means of which the professional is compensated. Knowing this difference can lead you to ask better questions, find better Financial Planners, and start making YOUR goals the priority when engaging in the process.
Kimberly Enders CFP® CWS® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
Enders Wealth Management
37800 Van Dyke Ave, Suite 125
Sterling Heights MI 48312
Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker-dealer and a Registered Investment Adviser. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. All investing involves risk, involving the possible loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.