David John MarottaDavid John Marotta is the President of Marotta Wealth Management, a fee-only financial planning and asset management firm in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is an oft-quoted writer and speaker on financial matters and his weekly financial column can be found at www.eMarotta.com
David John Marotta: I am David John Marotta and I am president of Marotta Wealth Management and I am going to be talking about comprehensive financial planning.
What is financial planning?
David John Marotta: Financial planning is simply life planning. So you start with what your goals are and then you structure everything including your finances in order to best accomplish those goals.
What areas does financial planning cover?
David John Marotta: Financial planning covers everything from investments, insurance, state planning, retirement planning and so all of the areas of finance that will help you accomplish your goals but because financial planning is life planning it also encompasses things like career, asset management, marriage planning, budgeting, college planning and everything else. So, a comprehensive financial planners job is to do everything in your finances that you would do if you have the time and expertise.
What are the biggest mistakes people make regarding financial planning?
David John Marotta: people who are not familiar with financial planning or who dont have an analytical nature end up making primarily three mistakes, the biggest of which is simply avoiding the topic entirely. So, they assume that everything will work out and they dont ever look to the future. The second biggest mistake is ending up trusting people that they shouldnt so they get involved in schemes that end up losing the money or not the best investments and the third is trying to do it themselves when they really dont have the time and expertise. So, just like you might go to an expert to have your oil changed, there are times at which going to financial experts who are trustworthy can end up enhancing your finances.
What is the difference between a financial planner and an agent or a broker dealer?
David John Marotta: A fee only financial planner has a legal obligation to act as a fiduciary which means that they have a legal obligation to do whats in your best interest. A broker or an agent is really working for a company, they are paid by the company and there is more conflict with interest. So, a fee only financial planner is someone who sits on your side of the table, and gives you the advice that you need to meet your goals.
Where is the best place to find a comprehensive fee only financial planner?
David John Marotta: The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, NAPFA is truly comprehensive and strictly fee only. So they are the best place to find a good financial planner. You can find a financial planner in your area if you go to their website, www.