Financial planners


When Suze Orman doesn’t return your calls, what do you do?

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Now that Oprah seems to have dubbed Suze Orman, “ the nation’s  financial planner,” it’s getting harder and harder to get her to return phone calls. Fortunately, Rick Epple, a certified financial planner in Wayzata, offers guidance to those who might want some assistance. Rick is part of the Money Bus tour coming to the Twin Cities Friday at the Minneapolis downtown public library from noon to 3 p.m. and the Metrodome from 5 to 7 p.m. Epple describes the bus tour in the Dollar Duo video running after noon Tuesday and at www.yourmoneybus.com.

I asked Epple for resources to help people find an experienced financial planner who will take a new client without a six or seven figure savings account. I also asked for resources for the do-it-yourselfer. Here are some of his recommendations.

Find Financial Planner – A person can find resources on how to find a planner as well as planner search function.Two important questions that consumers should ask:

  • What service is provided for the total fee they will pay?  Compare cost vs. service
  • Fiduciary – Will the advisor always being working in the client’s best interest?    

NAPFA – www.napfa.org or www.feeonly.org   Not just for the wealthy.  Fee only advisors (not fee based that can be an advisor who charges a fee and can earn commissions on the products they recommend  => A fee only advisor charges a fee that is fully disclosed)  Have a number of members who work on a project and hourly basis.  Some advisors have a minimum fee, not necessarily a minimum investment account.  Garrett Planning Network – www.garrettplanningnetwork.com – Fee only advisors that work on a project/hourly basis.www.Myfinancialadvice.com –  This group has been around for a few years.  They offer pay as you go advice via the web.Certified Financial Planner – http://www.cfp.net/  (I believe the minimum level a person should have attained to provide advice to clients)Financial Planning Association – http://www.fpaforfinancialplanning.org/  Members through list are CFP®s.  However, there are commission and fee based advisors along with fee only advisors.  A person searching should do a little extra homework to ensure a good fit. Websites:http://www.financialsecurity.umn.edu/ http://www.choosetosave.org/ballpark/ http://corp.financialengines.com/ (If available through your employer) Investment Information:http://www.morningstar.com http://www.tdameritrade.comhttp://www.fidelity.com http://www.vanguard.comhttp://www.schwab.com  Cash Flow:Mvelopes – www.mvelopes.com (I have used personally for years and recommend to clients)Mint – www.mint.comQuicken – www.quicken.com Microsoft Money – http://www.microsoft.com/MONEY/default.mspx  I believe this is the most important area that people can focus on.  Goal should be to spend less than they make and allocate the surplus to savings to help achieve their long term goals.  These tools can help people manage money.   Books:“The New Retirementality” by Mitch Anthony“Managing to Be Wealthy” by John Sestina“For Richer, Not Poorer” by Ruth Hayden“Your Money or Your Life” by Robin & Dominquez Magazines:Kiplinger Financial Magazine and Website http://www.kiplinger.com Money Magazine and Website http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/ Thanks Rick.