How to Choose a Financial Planner

Chris Maurer |

There are many big decisions you have to make in life, such as what career to choose, where you want to move after college, your spouse, your house, and your furry best friend. In fact, most of your life is centered around decision-making, from the time you decide to wake up in the morning to what you want for breakfast. You are the end sum of these decisions, so it's important that you get them right.


One decision you need to make is that of a financial planner. While many people think they don't need a financial planner, at some point, when you realize you've overdrawn your checking account again, you realize it would probably be prudent to do so. So how do you choose a financial planner?


Park Place Financial is a financial planning firm based in Bellaire. We offer customized financial planning solutions using investments, leveraging tax strategies, and incorporating diversification, to ensure you reach your financial and retirement goals. Below, we'll offer up some tips on how to choose a financial planner. Call our wealth management company today!




Choose the Type of Financial Planner


With the advent of the internet, there are now multiple types of financial planners you can choose from.


  • Robo-advisor. This is a digital service that is mostly automated. You answer questions, and a computer builds an investment portfolio for you based on the answers you give for your investment goals and risk tolerance.

  • Online financial planner. Think of an online financial planner as a robo-advisor with a human touch. You still get pretty basic financial planning tools, but you have a financial planner you can talk to who can answer your questions. Many offer the option of a dedicated financial planner, just at a higher cost.

  • Traditional financial planners. These are normally certified financial planners, such as Park Place Financial in Bellaire that will create customized, personal financial plans according to your needs. As you can imagine, the cost goes up with the level of service; yet, this begs the question: what price do you put on financial security in the future?


Choose a Certified Financial Planner


A certified financial planner (CFP) has earned that distinction through forming expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, retirement, and estate planning. An exam is required, as well as on-going educational programs in order to keep the certification. A CFP must meet strict education requirements, pass the exam, have at least three years of professional experience in the industry, or two as an apprentice, and then must uphold professional standards. It's safe to say that a CFP is dedicated to doing what is right for you always.


Consider Cost


There are different ways that a financial planner in Bellaire can charge for their services. A fee-only financial planner receives a percentage of the assets that they manage. They do not work off commissions or fees based on the products that they sell, which is how commission-based financial planners charge. There is a hybrid between the two known as a fee-based financial advisor who charges a fee and then gets paid commission as well. When you work off commission, there is a conflict of interest when doing what is right by the client. Park Place Financial in Bellaire recommends that you ask during your initial consultation what their pay structure is.




Do you like your financial planner and can you get along with them? Do you believe they have your best interests at heart? Can you trust them? Fit is key when searching for a financial planner, which is why a free initial consultation is very much worthwhile. You will get a chance to sit down with them, ask them questions, and get a feel for how they operate. Financial planners have different styles and philosophies, so be sure this aligns with yours.




Park Place Financial in Bellaire was formed with the desire to help you lead a great life and not outlive your income. Too many people don't have a financial plan. They "wing it," hoping the stars will align in their favor. While this can happen, the vast majority of people head into retirement with no retirement plan and very little retirement savings. Thus, they end up never truly retiring. Let's face it, you work hard for many years; you should be able to lead the life you want in your golden years.


Park Place Financial offers a customized financial plan to meet all of your financial goals. We specialize in retirement planning, income tax planning, investment planning, and healthcare planning. That being said, most of the time, these plans intermix, which is why we focus on devising a comprehensive financial solution using all of the specialized tools each offers. When you partner with us, we'll be with you every step of the way. Call our investment company today!