One of my financial goals for this year is to meet with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). So last week we sat down with a CFP that had been highly recommended. He was a swell guy. We connected personally and I appreciated his views on finances. Afterwards, though, I was still left with this question: do I need a CFP?
I have not answered the question for myself yet and your feedback would be much appreciated.
Here are the questions I am asking to determine if I need a CFP:
1. Do I have a firm understanding of my full financial picture? This includes savings, investments, insurance (home, car, health, long-term care), taxes, estate issues, and probably a few other things I am missing. If I don’t, I probably need a CFP.
2. Even if I do have a firm understanding of my financial picture, does it hurt to have a second pair of eyes? This is the hardest question for me. The individual who referred my to this CFP is a Personal Finance Professor with years of professional and teaching experience in the field. Surely if he needs a CFP, I do to, right?
3. Is it worth the cost? The cost on a yearly basis is about $350-m400. My guess is this on the low-end for most CFPs. There is also a one-time fee of 1/2, 1% of your total net worth. So for a net worth of $100,000 that would $500. Could this money be better put to use to educate myself rather than hire a CFP?
Sidenote: Here is how you can determine your net worth.
Question: What other questions should I be asking? Do you use a CFP? Why or why not?