In this current economic environment, you may be thinking you can’t trust anyone else with your money. You may think you’re better off handling your own finances. But with this frustrating turmoil, it is more important than ever to have an expert financial planner and investment manager on your side.
Fortunately, there is an entire organization whose members have committed as fiduciaries to keep only their clients’ best interests in mind when conducting their services.
The organization is called the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, or NAPFA, and its group of focused members has signed a commitment to put their clients’ interests above their own. Among more than 30,000 professional Certified Financial Planners, only about 1,500 of them are willing to make the required commitment to become part of NAPFA. These are the professionals you need to look to when seeking investment management services. These are the professionals you should trust with your money.
“Brokers at many of the large national financial firms are essentially sales people, trying to earn commission by selling their clients the latest ‘product’ the firm is pushing,” says Martin Hopkins, president of Hopkins Investment Management and a long-time advocate for integrity within financial planning. “NAPFA members must meet certain qualification requirements, and we recognize that it is in our best interest to give our clients the best advice possible, in order to grow and succeed with them.”
NAPFA “fiduciaries” work as fee only, meaning they don’t receive commission, kick-backs, or benefit of any kind, seeking instead to focus solely on the best investment strategies for their clients. Income source is fully disclosed and is usually a percentage of assets managed, putting them on the same side of the table as their clients. Many of the brokerage firms, on the other hand, claim to operate as “fee-based,” but it is little more than a thinly veiled attempt to hide the fact that they can also earn commissions on the investments they recommend to clients. This attitude is exactly what has contributed to the slow implosion of the global financial world.
“Independent fiduciaries like those within NAPFA are not beholden to sales goals and demanding executives who see numbers, not people,” adds Hopkins. “We like to think of ourselves as professional counsel, personally working with our clients to provide an ongoing service that takes everything into account, from college and retirement planning to estate planning and beyond, with a holistic approach to managing and growing what each individual client has and currently earns, as well as any future earning potential.
It may be tempting right now to try to handle your financial planning on your own. But in order to succeed, it is far safer to have an expert on your side. The key is in finding someone you can trust with your money, and that is NAPFA’s sole purpose. It’s about putting you at ease with the assurance that you have placed your future in the hands of someone who knows how important his or her role is. And ultimately, it’s about making financial decisions that fit with your goals and level of risk.