As a Certified Financial Planner™, I want to ensure my clients are getting the most accurate information and helpful service. I used to struggle to sift through the mountains of material and supposed “experts” online to find information that was truly valuable.
This fall, I attended my first National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) conference, and the way I gather financial planning information was forever changed!
I found my people.
I found a group of like-minded financial advisors who are excited to share knowledge, challenge the status quo, and promote the growth of our profession. They are exceptional leaders, thinkers, and fiduciaries.
NAPFA is comprised of fee-only firms who are true fiduciaries. Unlike commission-based brokers, fee-only firms do not receive extra income from selling you products. Therefore, fee-only firms are able to work with less conflict-of-interest and recommend plans that are truly best for their clients. A fiduciary must always work in the best interest of their clients: every day, with every recommendation, and every decision. NAPFA helps gives these fiduciaries a voice.
Like I said, these are my people.
I now have a sounding board of industry experts to glean ideas and wisdom from, knowing that we are pursuing the same goal for our clients.
At the conference, I learned from experts on topics like:
- Advising small-business owners
- Unique estate planning situations for families with adopted, international, or cohabitating members
- Inspiring clients to keep growing and find fulfillment after retirement
- Understanding the mechanics behind annuities and interpreting their fees
- Assisting clients through long-term care events
- Evaluating the dependability of insurance companies
- Navigating estate and tax laws
Pretty important subjects!
I was able to take all of that information and apply it to my clients’ unique lives, needs, and situations. NAPFA has already made me a better financial advisor, and I aim to continue learning more.
If you are looking for an advisor, review their Tough Questions to Ask Your Advisor document. It will help you know what questions to ask while you search! If you choose to work with a financial advisor, I HIGHLY recommend working with a firm that is a member of NAPFA (You can find firms in your area here). Many of these firms work virtually with clients, so geography is not necessarily a limitation.
I encourage you to check out NAPFA’s website for more resources and tips. No matter what profession or stage of life you are in, it is important to find a community who will help you grow, challenge you, and support you. It is also important to develop a network that will help you find relevant, accurate information. NAPFA provided me with both!