How to Find a Financial Planner

How to Find a Financial Planner

San Francisco, CA, USAIf you think you need help planning for retirement, a financial planner may be a good idea. But how do you find the right one for the right price? Contact4’s Joe Ducey has the answer.

Before you hire a financial planner, you need to know as much about them as they will soon know about you. “Sit down and talk to someone about their credentials,” advises San Francisco certified financial planner David Yeske.

Experts suggest that among other things you want to know are your financial planner’s educational background, types of clients, credentials (are they certified?), organization memberships, and how they are compensated. Are they selling something? “Commission, some fees, some both,” says Yeske. “You have to ask questions and make sure you’re comfortable with that.”

Your employer might offer free or low cost financial help. Yeske also says he’s a member of the Financial Planning Association (, which offers referrals.

If you don’t want to talk with a planner face-to-face, you now have hundreds of other options on the Internet. But which ones are best?

It depends on what you want. PC World magazine studied the sites and list these among the best:


  • Financial Engines ( – Founded by Nobel Prize winning economist William Sharp. Personal portfolio suggestions cost $15 for three months.
  • Quicken ( — PC World calls it the standard for comprehensive, coordinated, interactive financial information.



Internet sites are growing in popularity. Most are free. But Yeske believes most also are best used as background, saying they don’t encompass your whole financial picture: “If you visit a site online, you may be getting a narrow view of financial planning.”