EDITOR’S NOTE: October is financial planning month. In honor of financial planning month, AdvisorNews dives into the nitty-gritty of being a financial planner with a new and insightful topic each week throughout the month.
This week, AdvisorNews asked financial planners across the country: What do you wish you knew when you first became a financial planner? Here are their responses:
CFP is just a part of it
“I wish I knew was that just because you have CFP at the end of your name does not mean clients are going to be falling out of the sky to schedule a meeting with you. Does the CFP help? Yes, it absolutely does on so many levels. However, I was under the impression that new clients would just magically show up like in the movie Field of Dreams. If you build it they will come. I thought if I got the CFP they will call. That didn’t happen, but it has definitely helped me be a better financial planner for my clients and makes me stand out a little more compared to planners who don’t have the CFP credential. “
Ryan Marshall, Wyckoff, N.J.
Believe in the work you do
“Believe that every client who is working with you is better off than they would be with anyone else – When you truly believe this, to the core, you aren’t selling anymore, you’re throwing them a lifeline.”
Scott Hammel, Dallas
Smart people can be bad with money
“Something I wish I knew when I first became a planner was that sometimes very smart people make bad decisions regarding their money. It’s not easy to always act rationally and even the smartest people can make bad investments. Knowing this ahead of time might helped me be more empathetic earlier on in my career.”
Jared Friedman, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Understanding the ‘why’
“I wish I had spent more time learning about the behavioral finance side of things. For example – how and why people make money decisions based off emotions.”
Ashley Folkes, Scottsdale, Ariz.
The real value is in the strategy, not the plan
“A financial plan isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. It’s incorrect the minute the balances change. The real value in a plan is in the critical thinking that it takes to develop the plan.”
Scott Hammel, Dallas
“No matter how good a plan is, if an individual does not implement it then it is not worth the paper it is printed on.” – Mitchell Kraus, Santa Monica, Calif.
AdvisorNews Managing Editor Cassie Miller may be reached at cassie.miller@Adnewsfeedback.com. Cassie has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. Follow her on Twitter @ANCassieM.