Session 11 – Dirk Cotton

Recap and Highlights

  • Role of the financial planner is to be the quarterback of your financial team.
  • Your financial team can include a financial planner, investment advisor, attorney, tax accountant, insurance agent and banker.
  • The designation of “Financial Planner” can be associated with anyone on your financial team. For example, your insurance agent can call themselves a Financial Planner.
  • It is important to understand exactly what your Financial Planner specializes in because that may affect how they approach planning for you.
  • Some Financial Planners work only on a fee basis while others are compensated based on selling a product such as an annuity or a mutual fund.
  • Dirk is a fee-only planner who specializes in retirement income.
  • While anyone can call themselves a Financial Planner, Dirk recommends that you look for one who has earned a credential such as Certified Financial Planner.
  • Dirk believes in passive investment management primarily because very, very few active investment managers can consistently beat market benchmarks. Therefore he focuses more on asset allocation and retirement income.
  • There is a less common designation called an RMA (Retirement Management Analyst). This credential is provided by the Retirement Income Industry Association. The goal of an RMA is how to satisfy a retiree’s income needs.
  • Credentialed financial planners are supposed to follow a code of ethics.
  • Dirk recommends that you work with a financial planner whose investment style matches yours. For example, if you believe in passive investments, then you should work with a Financial Planner who shares your belief.
  • You should meet with your Financial Planner once a year to review your spending, your investment performance, your retirement plan and what has changed in your situation.
  • Everyone over 50 should consider working with a financial planner.

Additional References and Links