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What to Look for

A financial planner will be able to connect all the financial dots in order to provide you with an overall plan to meet your financial goals. James T. Barnette, Jr., CFP® and his team has training and experience in all kinds of financial products and financial aspects of your life – equities, bonds, insurance, taxes, and estate planning – in order to make the right recommendations for your personal situation.

Financial planning looks at a person’s overall financial picture. A financial planner will often ask a prospective client to fill out an extensive questionnaire in order to understand his or her financial needs and goals. The planner will usually put together a detailed, short-term 5-year plan designed to improve the client’s overall financial position. That may be followed by a long-term plan, along with suggestions about how to save and invest for retirement and a child’s college education at the same time. The planner will also look at ways to reduce current and future tax liabilities and protect assets by having the proper life, health, disability and long-term care insurance coverage in place. Finally, he or she may offer suggestions on estate planning.

– Fees will vary depending on the education and experience level of the financial planner, the services being provided and how the assets are being invested. In general, a financial planner will charge based on assets under management (AUM), commissions per transaction, an hourly rate or any combination of these methods. There are many ways in which clients can work with a Financial Planner, the key is to make sure you ask and understand the fee structure of the Advisor you have chosen to work with.

There are several different financial planning certifications. While a financial planning professional can have any of several designations or certifications, at the very least you should make sure that he or she is licensed and in good standing with the licensing authority. Two of the most common designations are Certified Financial Planner, and Chartered Financial Analyst. James T. Barnette, Jr. holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation as well as many of his colleagues.

  • A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) has competency and experience in all areas of financial planning. A CFP has completed courses of study in over 100 topics of financial management including equities, taxes, and retirement planning. He or she must also follow the Certified Financial Planner code of ethics.

Choose a financial planner who has experience dealing with clients in similar circumstances to yours. You will also want to make sure that the financial planner has your best interests in mind, and that he or she isn’t selling you products that are not suited to your needs. Interview prospective financial planners and ask them about credentials, management strategies, and history of performance.

If the advisor is a Certified Financial Planner, check the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. To make sure your financial advisor has not faced disciplinary action, check the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Fiduciary means to hold a confidence or trust. A financial services industry professional who has a fiduciary responsibility to his or her clients must put a client’s needs and interests ahead of his or her own. Certified Financial Planners have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. While stockbrokers and insurance agents are regulated and licensed, they do not have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. The recommendations they make must only meet the “suitability standard.” In other words, the risk level of the product must be suitable for the client based on income, assets, risk tolerance or another standard that is specified in the prospectus. Advisors with a fiduciary responsibility are less likely to push products that earn them a quick buck.

Account Services

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1. While logged into Account View, click on Documents and Statements.

2. Click on Paperless Settings.

3. Select the individual document categories that you want to receive electronically, then click Save. To choose all categories, click the Go 100% Green button.

4. To change the email address for e-delivery or to add an additional recipient, first click on the button with three horizontal lines to the right of the particular document or account. A dialog box will open.

5. Enter an email address in the box or click Add Recipient as needed. Click OK to save changes.

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