IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: Two Financial Planners Walk Into a Bar...

You guys loved the post with the 3 lawyers (if you need a refresher, see that here)

So, I did it all again with 2 financial planners. What do we need to know? Do we really need a financial planner?

Timothy Hilton and William Cain Stranges of Ameriprise Financial Services are two Hoboken guys willing to sit down with me, have a drink, and talk MONEY.

Cassie: Why should I hire a financial planner? What does a financial planner do?

Tim: A financial planner can help you develop a long-term financial plan. We are looking from the outside in and can help you make the best money decisions. No matter how much you learn about investing, you’re human and, therefore, susceptible to making irrational decisions.

Cassie: As soon as we start talking about money, I get anxiety. What does it cost to hire a financial planner?

Cain: Each client's situation is different, so the fees vary. Usually the fee is based on what assets will be managed or an annual fee. However, we never charge a fee for a consultation. So if you're interested, it never hurts to set up a meeting.

Cassie: How do I choose a financial planner and what do I need to know before my consult?

Tim: Choose a financial planner who has experience working with clients in similar situations such as yours. Also, make sure the financial planner(s) have your best interests at heart and are making suitable recommendations that fit your situation. Get a referral from someone you trust. When you meet with them, ask questions about their experience and their background. Make sure they understand your situation and listen to what is most important to you. You can also ask about the products and services that they may have to offer.

Cassie: Ok, so my friend says you're great and I need help. What is the next step? What is involved in financial planning?

Tim: Planning takes a look at an individual's or family’s total financial picture. The client(s) and financial professional will meet several times, in person, via email/webinar, or over the phone and begin to gather information to organize, analyze, and provide solutions across all areas of your financial life. This includes cash & liabilities, investments, protection needs, and taxes.

Cassie: Once we create a plan, do you disappear? Do you call me every day? Are you going to stress me out about my online shopping habit? How serious is this relationship?

Cain: Well, the this really depends on you. Do you need someone watching your every purchase? We can certainly do that if you do! In all seriousness, our role is to be there for the overall picture. We suggest meeting at least twice a year or when you have a life altering occurrence, such as an employment change, birth of a child, or inheritance.

Cassie: Am I missing out by not having a financial planner?

Tim: A financial planner acts as a fiduciary for you, which means they are required to put your interests first. So, we look at your investment timeframe, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs and then help you optimize your financial situation. There are many situations that may be overlooked and we can help you with that (i.e. education planning, asset location, tax impact on investments, etc).

If this all sounds either confusing or interesting, then you would probably benefit from a consult. And the best part, the consult is free! If you have more questions, or want more information, reach out to Tim & Cain!

Hilton, Stranges & Associates

A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Tim: 917.472.2686

Cain: 917.472.2696