How to Get Free-Only Financial Advice

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Got some questions? Good news: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine is partnering with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to sponsor Kiplinger’s Jump-Start your Retirement Plan Days – a chance to get free financial advice by telephone from the nation’s premier financial advisors.

From 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. EST on two separate Fridays – February 18 and March 4 – NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors nationwide will be standing by to answer people’s most pressing financial questions. Examples: Am I saving enough to live the lifestyle I want in retirement? Is my money invested properly? What kind of IRA should I have? How should I be investing my 401(k)? What do I need to know about estate planning? Should I purchase a long-term care insurance policy? Are annuities a good investment? This service is free for absolutely everyone.

NAPFA is a 1,200-member organization of Fee-Only comprehensive financial advisors. NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors must meet the financial industry’s highest professional education, competency and compensation standards. They are knowledgeable not just about investments, but also insurance, estate planning, tax planning and retirement planning. Normally, their services cost $100 to $350 an hour.

The toll-free number to call during the Kiplinger Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Days is 1-888-919-2345. Further information on this initiative and on reviving your retirement plan can be found in the upcoming March 2004 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Advice is usually worth what you pay for it. Most free advice is simply a technique to make you feel grateful while being sold commission heavy financial products. Only with a fee-only financial planner can you get more objective advice. Only a fee-only financial planner can sit on your side of the table, representing your best interest without the distraction of a commission when selecting investments.

Although worth several times its value, fee-only advisors usually charge a percentage of assets under management. Thus the foundation is laid for a win-win relationship. Fee-Only advisors earn more only when you own more. And as your relationship with your advisor grows over the years so does the help, which they can provide through an increased understanding of your needs. Likewise, the longer Marotta Asset Management works with our client families the better we know them and the more we are therefore able to do for them. Our initial meetings are deep and detailed, but it takes time to really get to know anyone and over time things change: incomes, expenses, jobs, inheritances, children, grandchildren, tax laws, health, etc. For many of our client families, less than a hundred presently, our advice includes three generations and involves as much life planning issues as financial issues. Add it all up; we earn our fee, and avoid the bias built into other compensation methods.

Additionally, we provide pro-bono financial advice of a more general nature. Free advice is given away through public seminars, this column, and the database of past columns on our website. More specific questions are answered through private email. We provide information because we think sampling our advice is the best way for people to see the difference between objective advice and commission-driven sales pitches.

Don’t miss Kiplinger’s “Jump-Start Retirement Plan Days” offer to call toll free February 18 and March 4 to ask a NAPFA financial advisor your questions. Get your questions together and mark these two days on your calendar. This coordinated offer by NAPFA & Kiplinger’s is a rare opportunity to get some of those tough financial questions answered by the nation’s premier financial advisors, at no charge to you.

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

Follow David John Marotta:

President, CFP®, AIF®, AAMS®

David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.