Whether you’re new to teaching or a veteran, you’ve undoubtedly come across financial advisors at your school. Figuring out whether you should embrace them or run away is critical for your long-term financial health.
While some say they’re “approved vendors” and others say “the district sent them to help you,” these three simple questions will help you vet these advisors right away.
First and foremost, ask “Are you a fiduciary?” A fiduciary is someone who is legally bound to put your best interests first. If the advisor can’t unequivocally say “yes,” it’s a bad sign.
Second, ask the advisor “Are you a Certified Financial Planner?” The CFP designation is the gold standard in financial planning and requires substantial education, examination, experience, and ethics. If the advisor mentions they have a “series” and/or “insurance” license instead, know that these have much lower standards and are in no way comparable to a CFP.
Third, ask the advisor to explain to you exactly how he or she is compensated. Many of the advisors that appear at schools are commission-based sales people with product goals set by their company. Instead, it’s better to work with an advisor that charges clear and transparent fees. These can be by the hour, monthly, quarterly, or annually… or based on the value of your investment accounts.
The next time a financial advisor shows up at your school you’ll be ready.
If you’d like to learn more or connect with a fiduciary, Certified Financial Planner that specializes in serving teachers, give us a call or drop us an email.