Financial planning is a broad, comprehensive process. It’s this big picture approach that sets qualified financial planners like CFP® professionals apart from all other financial advisors who may have been trained to focus only on one aspect of your finances. 

A good financial plan takes into account all aspects of your finances, balancing what you need and want today with the personal goals you have for the future. Read on for what to expect when you get started on a professional financial plan.

Establishing the client/planner engagement

Your planner should:
  • Explain issues and concepts related to the overall financial planning process that are appropriate for you
  • Explain the services s/he will provide and the process of planning and documentation
  • Clarify your responsibilities as a client
  • Clarify their responsibilities as your planner, including a discussion about how and by whom s/he will be compensated
You and your planner should:
  • Discuss the scope of the client/planner engagement
  • Agree on how decisions will be made whom s/he will be compensated

For more information about the financial planning process, read FAQ: Financial Planning, Choosing a Financial Planner and Your annual financial planning "checkup".