Local Wealth Strategist Provides Tips for Choosing a Certified Financial Planner

Raleigh, NC (PressExposure) July 19, 2008 -- Brant Spesshardt Offers a Step-by-Step Process for Individuals Seeking CFPs

Brant Spesshardt, a Banyan Rock & Talent wealth strategist, provides guidelines for individuals seeking a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), financial professionals with certified experience to handle financial needs.

Every investor has a different attitude and method for how they wish to distribute their assets. For this reason, it is important to find a financial professional that shares the same outlook. As a guidance tool, Spesshardt offers ten questions to ask while searching for a CFP:

1. What experience do you have? Find out how long the planner has been in practice, as well as the number and types of companies with which they have been associated. Ask the planner to briefly describe their work experience and how it relates to their current practice.

2. What are your qualifications? The term "financial planner" is used by many financial professionals. Ask the planner what qualifies them to offer financial planning advice and whether they are recognized as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or CFP® practitioner, a Certified Public Accountant/ Personal Financial Specialist (CPA/PFS), or a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). Look for a planner who has proven experience in financial planning topics such as insurance, tax planning, investments, estate planning or retirement planning.

3. What services do you offer? The services a financial planner offers depend on a number of factors including credentials, licenses and areas of expertise. Generally, financial planners cannot sell insurance or securities products such as mutual funds or stocks without the proper licenses and registrations, or give investment advice unless registered with state or Federal authorities.

4. What is your approach to financial planning? Ask the financial planner about the type of clients and financial situations they typically like to work with. Some planners prefer to develop one plan by bringing together several of your financial goals. Others provide advice on specific areas, as needed.

5. Will you be the only person working with me? The financial planner may work with you directly or have others assist them. You may want to meet everyone who will be working with you. If the planner works with professionals outside of their own practice (attorneys, insurance agents or tax specialists) to develop or carry out financial planning recommendations, get a list of names to check on their backgrounds.

6. How will I pay for your services? As part of your financial planning agreement, the financial planner should clearly tell you in writing how they will be paid for the services to be provided. Some financial advisors may charge fees based on an hourly rate, a flat rate, or on a percentage of your assets and/or income. Other times, other rate structures may be used.

7. How much do you typically charge? While the amount you pay the planner will depend on your particular needs, the financial planner should be able to provide you with an estimate of possible costs based on the work to be performed. Such costs should include the planner's hourly rates or flat fees or the percentage he would receive as commission.

8. Could anyone besides me benefit from your recommendations? Some business relationships or partnerships that a planner has could affect their professional judgment while working with you, inhibiting the planner from acting in your best interest. For example, financial planners who sell insurance policies, securities or mutual funds have a business relationship with the companies that provide these financial products.

9. Have you ever been publicly disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your professional career?

Several government and professional regulatory organizations, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), your state insurance and securities departments, and CFP Board keep records on the disciplinary history of financial planners and advisers. Ask what organizations the planner is regulated by and contact these groups to conduct a background check. All registered financial planners must be able to provide you with a disclosure form called Form ADV Part II or the state equivalent of that form.

10. Can I have it in writing? Ask the planner to provide you with a written agreement that details the services that will be provided. Keep this document in your files for future reference.

For more information on a CFP, call Spesshardt at (919) 816-2589 or visit http://www.brantspesshardt.com.

About Brant Spesshardt: Brant Spesshardt, a financial advisor of Banyan Rock & Talent has been providing superior service to financial services clients since 1998. Brant prides his career on providing clients with the strategic means to optimize financial capabilities. Though skilled in many areas, Brant specializes in college, retirement and other family financial planning, with an emphasis on stewardship. Brant believes in giving back to the community that supports him and his family by participating as a board member of Community Partnerships, Inc., the Raleigh and Garner Chambers of Commerce, Ducks Unlimited committee and volunteering as a committee member for his church Garner United Methodist. In 2001, he was a recipient of the Impact 100 Award on behalf of Business Leader Magazine. Visit http://www.BrantSpesshardt.com for more information.

About AIG Advisor Group, Inc.: The AIG Advisor Group, Inc. is among the largest independent Registered Representative networks in the United States and consists of Advantage Capital Corporation, AIG Financial Advisors, Inc., FSC Securities Corporation and Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., and are all members of FINRA & SIPC. These independent broker-dealers, with more than 7,000 independent financial professionals, are all wholly-owned subsidiaries of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). AIG Advisor Group is a marketing designation for certain broker-dealers, and investment advisers affiliated with American International Group, Inc.

Securities offered through FSC Securities Corporation, Member FINRA/SIPC. Banyan, Rock & Talent is not affiliated with FSC Securities Corporation or registered as a broker/dealer or investment advisor.

About Banyan Rock & Talent

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(919) 232-5008

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Press Release Submitted On: July 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm
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