Comprehensive Financial Planning
The NAPFA Comprehensive Financial Planning Diagnostic:
Helping consumers understand what comprises truly comprehensive financial planning
Consumers today are confused…and rightly so. With so many financial services companies getting into the
financial planning game, consumers are left scratching their heads wondering, “Which financial advisor is right
for me?” This confusion is compounded when the term “Comprehensive Financial Planning” is used so loosely
by financial service providers who do not practice truly comprehensive financial planning.
Comprehensive Financial Planning is more than the active management of investments. It is more than the
creation of a retirement plan and it goes well beyond regular check-ups of a portfolio. Truly Comprehensive
Financial Planning is the act of planning for, and prudently addressing life events. It addresses everything from
buying a new car or home, to planning for a child’s education, preparing for eventual retirement or creating a
plan for your estate. But it goes well beyond these basic life events…it also addresses potential events that
can drastically alter your long-term financial security. This is truly Comprehensive Financial Planning.
So, you need to ask yourself, “Is my financial advisor truly comprehensive?” This sounds easy enough, but
very few consumers know the questions to ask to make this determination. That is why the National
Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) has created this Comprehensive Financial Planning
Diagnostic – a thorough questionnaire that consumers can use to choose a financial advisor.
Consumers can make an informed decision based on the responses a financial advisor provides. For those
who need assistance in deciphering the results of the Diagnostic, NAPFA will provide an “answer key” to show
how a truly comprehensive, strictly Fee-Only advisor might answer the questions. If the answers stray
significantly away from how NAPFA recommends these questions are answered, it may be time for you to
reconsider the relationship with the advisor.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact NAPFA by calling 800-366-2732
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