By Maura C. Schauss, CFP®
There are 135 different certifications for financial advisors, and most of them begin with the letter “C”: CFPs, ChFCs, CPAs, CLUs, CFSs, and the list goes on. With an alphabet soup of certifications, how do you find a financial professional who’s right for you?
According to a recent survey, most high-income households want their advisors to have these qualifications:
- 85% find it “very important” or “extremely important” for their advisor to have successfully completed a certification examination.
- 95% believe their advisor should adhere to professional practice standards.
- 97% say it’s extremely important for their advisor to adhere to a professional code of ethics.
That’s a tall order. But—believe it or not—it’s not impossible to find an advisor who meets these qualifications. In fact, certified financial planners (CFP®s) check all these boxes and more.
Read on as we discuss everything you need to know about the importance to you in working with a CFP®.
By Maura Schauss, CFP® and Todd Youngdahl, CFP®
The financial markets took a big dip early this week over fears about the spreading coronavirus, erasing gains from earlier this year. After the Dow lost over 800 points on Tuesday, it was down a total of 1,900 points in two days and the volatility has continued.
Investors are understandably nervous about their money and their health. If you are worried about your portfolio, you’re not alone. But during stock market volatility, it’s important to keep a level head to avoid financial mistakes.
By Todd I. Youngdahl, CFP®
If you’ve spent any time researching financial advisors, you’ve probably come across the term Fee-Only. It’s used to describe registered investment advisors, and it’s one of the best words you can hear when searching for a financial expert.
But what does it mean? And why is it important when you are evaluating financial advisors?
Today we’ll address what it means to be a fee-only financial advisor—and why we at Washington Wealth Advisors pride ourselves on this one little phrase.
By Maura Schauss, CFP®
Thankfully, there are many ways to plan for rising healthcare costs—the most popular option being a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is a type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. It’s used in conjunction with a high-deductible health insurance plan.
By Maura C. Schauss, CFP® and Jane Huang, MBA, CFP®
If you’ve been frustrated by the complexity and inflexibility surrounding your federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), you’re not alone. Fortunately, many of the rules and restrictions surrounding your options for contributing and withdrawing will be relaxed when the TSP Modernization act goes into effect on September 15th, 2019. The new rules are designed to give you more control over your money and apply to all TSP account owners, regardless of whether or not you’re already receiving monthly payments. The top three changes to TSP withdrawals in 2019 are greater flexibility in partial withdrawals, making withdrawal changes at any time, and the ability to choose which accounts your withdrawals are coming from.
By Todd Youngdahl, CFP®
You never know what kind of surprises life will throw at you. I have known married couple Paige and Tim since 2005 and started working with them as their financial advisor 10 years ago when they didn’t have any pressing financial needs. As Paige put it, “We just wanted to figure out our financial picture - what we needed to do to save and how best to utilize the income we had. You don’t have time for that when you’re doing everything else.”