Choosing an Online Financial Planner

When it comes to finances, many people feel overwhelmed. Whether you are just starting your planning journey or nearing retirement, making the most of your money is top of mind for many. A financial planner can help you manage your debt, save and invest wisely, create a budget, analyze your tax situation and even run “what if” scenarios to prepare for the future.Resource: 

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When choosing a planner, ask for their credentials and check their disciplinary history with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly the NASD). They should also provide you with a disclosure document that includes their schooling and business background. Ask about their fee structure and if they are a fiduciary, meaning they have a legal responsibility to put your financial interests above their own. Some online planning services use computer algorithms to make investment recommendations; others have live, human advisers. If they charge for advice and asset management, look for a flat fee per hour or by the task (for example, a $1,000 fee to review your debts). Some also charge based on how much money they manage in your portfolio; this is called an assets-under-management fee.

. These services are free or low cost. They are geared to investors with some knowledge of investing and who want to automate their investments. They typically do not have a human planner who can provide more comprehensive advice.