Does a Financial Planner Add Value? Are They Worth Their Fee? How to Find a Reputable Financial Planner.

how to find a reputable financial planner
Share this article:

First of all, this article has to start by addressing this question – should you even work with a financial planner? What possible outcome do you see in working with a reputable financial planner? We are all burned out of adding costs to our lives! Is this just another cost that you could eliminate by not hiring a financial advisor? Why not just do this yourself and save money? If you will not give way to the possibility that you could create vastly superior financial outcomes for yourself, your family, or your business by working with a financial planner, the rest of this article will mean nothing to you.

However, if you can be open and allow me to share some insights with you, it will help you to examine the above questions and make a more informed decision in this space.

By this point in my career I have been intimately involved in the financial plan(s) and servicing for over two thousand different individuals/families/companies that have walked through a comprehensive financial planning process. Each advisor over my career has been a stated fiduciary with a commitment to creating high-level outcomes for clients. I have observed so much about people’s experiences, biases, inclinations, habits, heuristics around money, experiences with investing/financial markets and frame of mind around money in general.

I would like to give away a few takeaways that I believe are relevant and valuable to anyone set out or up to creating excellence in their financial world. Yes, I meant what I said, “world” not just finances. What is the distinction? Financial excellence is far more than just making good decisions with your money/investments. 

Let me give you an example. Recently we met with a multimillionaire. In walking through our processes we examined all of his insurance policies. Without a care in the world around who his insurance was with, and without any interest in selling him a new policy; we reviewed his insurance coverages looking for any place where he was exposed and vulnerable. Looking for any areas that were not excellent; we found several.

Why did/do we do a full audit of anything that rolls up into our clients financial world? Because it is extremely ignorant to be focused on building and securing your wealth while being vulnerable to ways where you could lose egregious amounts of your hard earned money by having foolish protection work around you. Through high-level and detailed planning work, our clients arrive at a level of organization and excellence in their financial world, not just their finances! I assert, it is close to impossible for someone to create this type of high level planning, that spans across every area of their finances, on their own. The number of specialists that Tencap has access to is regarded by most of our clients as impressive and valuable. Tencap works with high-net-worth clients to provide a service offering that is unmatched by any group that I’m aware of. To say that another way, I’m not aware of another group in Utah or any surrounding states that offer the level of comprehensive financial planning that Tencap offers.

If you can get what’s available to you in working with a professional in this space, then you can start to get clear on two things:

  1. Is the advisor you are working with now the right fit for you?
  2. If you don’t have an advisor, what considerations are important to you in looking for the right one? 

What’s the difference between a financial planner and a financial advisor?

A financial planner helps you attain your long-term economic goals by considering your financial standing and using it to formulate a holistic plan tailor-fit to your unique situation. On the other hand, a financial advisor focuses on managing your money and investments. 

A financial planner typically makes a comprehensive strategy for the following areas in your finances:

Meanwhile, financial advisors may offer some planning, but their primary role revolves around managing portfolios and investment products that match your risk tolerance and time horizon.

Most people use these terms interchangeably. However, each profession has distinct roles catering to different aspects of your financial journey. Understanding these differences can help you better discern which professional can address your needs.

What to Look for in a Financial Planner

Not all planners are the same. Some are more experienced than others, with the best possessing the following characteristics:

Aligns with your financial needs and goals

Finding a planner who deeply understands the complexities of managing significant wealth is crucial to success. Given your mix of assets, income streams, and tax obligations, your financial situation might be more nuanced than the average earner’s. Consequently, you may require tailored strategies and solutions.

Look for a planner with a track record of success in helping individuals with a high net worth like yours achieve their financial aspirations. Your planner should have experience optimizing investment returns and mitigating tax liabilities to preserve your wealth for future generations.

Possesses stellar credentials and qualifications

Some may claim to be experienced advisors or planners but do not have the credentials to back it up. When evaluating potential financial partners, consider prioritizing those with reputable records and qualifications demonstrating their expertise and high professional standards.

A minimum requirement is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification, a globally recognized credential indicating a planner’s competence and ethics in the practice. Other designations that make an excellent financial planner include:

Likewise, consider your prospects’ years of experience, industry recognition, and track record of managing high-net-worth portfolios.

Offers a breadth of financial services

Your financial needs may entail more than traditional investment management. In that case, work with a planner who offers comprehensive services tailored to your needs and objectives. Look for a firm demonstrating expertise across financial areas, from estate planning to investment risk management.

By consolidating these services under one planner, you can benefit from holistic financial guidance and a cohesive strategy addressing key aspects of your finances—not to mention you avoid having to hire and pay multiple people for various roles.

Presents a reasonable fee structure

Your financial planner’s fee structure significantly affects the advice and recommendations you receive. For instance, some earn fees from selling financial products, so they might focus more on selling than helping you create a financial roadmap.

A fee-based model delivered with a fiduciary standard, may be more suitable for your situation. It aligns the planner’s incentives with your best interest because it charges a transparent fee based on the financial planning services, not on pushing commissions from product sales. It also removes potential conflicts of interest and ensures clients’ goals are the only factors driving financial planning strategies.

Abides by the fiduciary standard

Arguably, the most critical consideration when choosing a financial planner is the fiduciary standard—a legal and ethical obligation to always act in your best interest. It requires your advisor or planner to prioritize your interest above their own and to provide advice that’s objective, unbiased, and free from conflicts of interest.

Unfortunately, not all financial advisors adhere to the fiduciary standard, leaving you vulnerable to poor and deceptive advice. Ideally, you seek out those with a record of embracing this duty and upholding the industry’s ethical principles.

How to Find a Financial Planner

There are many avenues to explore when searching for a financial planner, and one of the most reliable methods in evaluating potential candidates is cross checking with the CFP Board’s Verify a CFP Professional tool. It lets you confirm a planner’s certification status and disciplinary history so you can make an informed choice when selecting a professional who meets your standards.

Tencap Wealth Coaching is Here to Help

Searching for a competent and experienced financial planner requires careful consideration and discernment. Ideally, you now know a few considerations as you interview or re-interview firms. In my opinion, it’s all about knowing what to look for and where so you can make better decisions aligning with your financial goals and aspirations. Prioritize the above criteria for a fruitful partnership and lasting prosperity.

At Tencap Wealth Coaching, we understand the importance of finding a qualified financial planner to address your needs. We have a certified professional offering comprehensive financial planning services to optimize your financial well-being. 

We can’t’ wait to show you what our planning process looks like, and show you all of the areas we intend to create excellence in, in your financial world!

Contact us today to set up your initial no-cost consultation!

Photo of Joe Griffin
Joe Griffin
CEO Tencap Wealth Coaching | + posts

Joe has been building and managing financial planning firms for the past 13 years. He loves the financial planning space and is very proud of the success and growth that has come from his proprietary marketing and leadership. Joe spent years being involved with the bright minds of the investment committee at Utah’s 529 college savings plan – a plan managing over 20 billion. Joe only works with firms that are stated fiduciaries on a client relationship. Joe is committed to leading a financial planning firm with ethics and integrity.  The money management philosophy that Tencap subscribes to is built on strong academics and is supported by a highly impressive academic board. We can't wait to coach you on the excellence that Tencap stands for.

Share this article:
Table of Contents
Recent Posts


All content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide any tax or legal advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions. Nor is it intended to be a projection of current or future performance or indication of future results.

Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Tencap Wealth Coaching and our editorial staff. The information contained in this material has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and completeness and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the materials discussed. All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual adviser prior to implementation. Advisory services are offered by Tencap Wealth Coaching, an Investment Advisor in the State of Utah. Being registered as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

  • Tencap Wealth Coaching is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.
  • Insurance products and services may be offered through Tencap Wealth Coaching.

The information contained herein should in no way be construed or interpreted as a solicitation to sell or offer to sell advisory services to any residents of any State other than the State of Utah or where otherwise legally permitted.

Images and photographs are included for the sole purpose of visually enhancing the website. None of them are photographs of current or former Clients. They should not be construed as an endorsement or testimonial from any of the persons in the photograph.

Purchases are subject to suitability. This requires a review of an investor’s objective, risk tolerance, and time horizons. Investing always involves risk and possible loss of capital.

Links to Other Sites

The inclusion of any link is not an endorsement of any products or services by Tencap Wealth Coaching. All links have been provided only as a convenience. These include links to websites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you use one of these links, you are no longer on this site and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another website, you are subject to the privacy of that new site. 

When you follow a link to one of these sites neither Tencap Wealth Coaching, nor any agency, officer, or employee of Tencap Wealth Coaching warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by these external sites, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from these systems, and cannot be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of their information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from these systems does so at her or his own risk.