I’m kinda nerdy when it comes to our money – and money in general.

Ever since Nancy and I got engaged over 5 years ago, I’ve worked on studying our money, and money in general.  I’ve read economics books for “fun.”  I read at least a couple of financially-focused books each year.  I try to read the prospectuses that come in the mail from our mutual funds.  I took pains to understand exactly what happened with the stock market “crash” that lead to the recession in 2007-2009.

And there’s still so much that I don’t know.  So. Much.  For example:

– What’s the qualifications and deadlines to set up a SEP-IRA?
– What’s the long-term rates of return on a good index fund vs. a comparable mutual fund?
– What’s the difference between A-class shares and C-class shares
– Is there a real-estate investment fund with good stability and long-term returns?
– I’ve heard so much about gold lately – what kind of long-term track record does it have?

And so on and so forth – hopefully you get the drift, if I didn’t lose you in those questions.

This stuff is intense sometimes!  It’s invaluable to have someone who makes it their business to understand all of this and help you understand it too.  A great Certified Financial Planner (CFP) can help you with that.

It’s vastly important that they have – as Dave Ramsey says – “the heart of a teacher.”  A financial advisor with the heart of a salesman will leave you feeling uncomfortable, head swirling with questions, and owning a bunch of stuff you don’t understand or care for.

If I want to be a certain type of person, I find out what those people do and try to emulate it.  I’ve referenced the book, “The Millionaire Next Door” by Drs. Thomas Stanley and William Danko before.  The typical millionaire makes their own big financial decisions (after spending 10-20 hours a month planning them), with the aid of a well-vetted financial advisor.

Someone with the heart of a teacher will help inform you as you go about making these financial decisions.  The best person making your financial decisions is YOU, but a good Certified Financial Planner will help you have the best information in making those decisions.

Question: Anyone ever have a really bad experience with a financial “salesman”?  What happened?

Note: Nancy and have a great CFP that we can recommend if you’re looking for one in the Triangle.  Just let me know in the comments and I’ll send his info your way.