We live in an information age, advice and information are everywhere, from news papers, TV to talking phones, there is no shortage of information these days. Yet even with all this information, and sometimes misinformation, many people are painfully unaware of basic financial information, such as financial planning, building a nest egg, and planning for retirement, let alone how to find the best credit cards or personal loans. You do not need to be rich to find financial advice that is reliable, accurate and point on. In fact you can get plenty of free advice, often from sources you never considered before.
If you are woefully ignorant of the inner workings of a 401(k) plan, one good place to find the advice you need might be your workplace. If your work offers a 401(k) plan, chances are they may also offer free or heavily discounted advice from a certified financial planner. In fact nearly half of all employers who offer a 401(k) plan offer this service, and another 9% plan to in the future. However I should point out that these planers advice is often limited by laws which dictate employee retirement accounts and also liability fears. Thankfully the Pension Protection Act of 2006 loosened up these restrictions, enabling employers to offer financial planning advice with lessened liability concerns. The law dictates that the advice may be given as long as the financial planner is compensated the same amount no matter what recommendation is made, or how you choose to invest.
Studies have shown that employees who take advantage of this free financial planing and advice tend to do much better than their peers who opt not to take this advice. This study was performed by Charles Schwab. Yet so few employees take advantage of this free advice, even when offered. Charles Schwab for example says that 74 percent of their clients who offer their employes 401(k) plans make this free advice available, yet only one in 10 employees actually make use of it.
If your work place does not offer this free service, you can still talk to a certified financial planner, without it costing you an arm and a leg. It is not just cash that can be offered as compensation, but also you can often instead opt to pay them for their services with a percentage of the assets they manage, often times this is only 1%. You can also offer to pay a retainer for services to be rendered. Financial planners can be fee based or commission based. Some planners also never charge a fee, but rather are paid commissions on the financial products you invest in.
If you are a member of the middle class, you may have had difficulty finding a financial planner. Many financial planners will not take on a client who has under $100,000 in assets. There is one tool you can use to find an affordable financial adviser who caters to the middle class, via the Garrett Planning Network’s website at http://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com/find-an-advisor-map. Simply click on the map for a list of financial advisers in your area who cater to the middle class.