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Small business owners need a good financial planner……….

One of the last team members that a small business owners hires is a financial advisor, (the next to last is a good coach), but let’s talk about financial advisors.

There are two basic types of financial advisors, those that work on a commission and those that work on a fee basis. As a startup business, the basic products that a business owner may purchase is a health policy, an insurance policy (usually a term policy) and perhaps an arrangement is made with a local bank to start an IRA. With most of their available funds invested in their business, there is little left over for purchasing investment products.

Unlike other “professional” careers, there is no degree requirement to sell investment and insurance products. There are some tests to be passed, but with enough “cramming” most people can pass the required exams to get an insurance license, real estate license, or a license to sell stocks, annuities, etc. Once they have their licenses they are sent out to “sell” their products. If they live on a commission basis, they have to sell in order to survive. At the beginning they don’t have a lot of experience (credibility) and their main focus is to sell as much as they can to as many people as possible.

My recommendation is to budget for a qualified fee based planner. The initial meeting may be an overview of what you are doing as well an explanation of what services to expect.  Meetings may only occur on a quarterly basis and they may only last one to two hours. Over the course of several years you will be establishing a position of trust with your financial advisor; and he/she, in turn, will understand your business and family needs. This person, working in conjunction with your business coach, can help guide your growth from a solid business perspective.

Because of my own experience, I recommend a careful investigation of your perspective advisor. A person who has earned  the CFP (Certified Financial Planner)  is a good place to start.

Today, the small business owner has to make personal retirement and business financial security a part of a business plan. Perhaps it is a “wish list item” in the budget, but it need to be there.

The greatest gap in life is the one between knowing and doing.                              Dick Biggs

Nick J. Petra CFP      subscribe to this weekday blog at www.strategicduck.com

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