The Atlanta Lawyer January/February 2015 - Page 4

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE The Importance of Financial Planning “ By Jacquelyn H. Saylor The Saylor Law Firm LLP jsaylor@saylorlaw.com “Make sure you research who you are dealing with before you engage someone as a financial planner. Too often we have read in the paper about a former sports star’s bad choice of advisors...” N o matter how much money you make, you need to spend and invest it wisely. It helps to get the advice of professionals. Make sure you research who you are dealing with before you engage someone as a financial planner. Too often we have read in the paper about a former sports star’s bad choice of advisors or the friendly financial advisor at a local church who defrauded members of the congregation out of much of their savings. The letters and titles after financial planners’ names indicate a wide range of ability and expertise. What is their education and experience? What requirements did they have to meet to get the letters behind their name or to obtain a certificate. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a well-known type of financial planner. Some attorneys work as financial planners or they obtain certificates so they can guide their clients who already have financial planners. CPA’s often work as financial 4 THE ATLANTA LAWYER January/February 2015 planners; a board certified CPA is a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). Many financial planners are investment advisors; you can get important information about registered investment advisors on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) home page. The home page has a “Broker Check” tool you can use to search them by their name, the name of their firm, their registration number, or your zip code. It will provide you with a detailed report, which contains the advisor’s qualifications, complete registration history and previous employers. It also contains any disclosure events such as certain criminal charges, customer disputes, and unpaid judgments or liens. If you require additional information not in the report, they encourage you to contact Georgia’s state securities regulator: Tom Zagorsky (404) 656-3920 http://www.nasaa.org. When meeting with a financial planner, you will be asked for your sensitive financial information. Try to make sure that The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association