Looking for a Financial Planning Professional?"
Five Steps to Take to Get Ready to Work with One

San Diego, CA. The growth in the financial planning industry has been explosive over the past ten years. The number of courses leading to a degree in Financial Services or "Chartered Financial Consultant" (ChFC), "Certified Financial Planner" (CFP), or a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) designations, offered by colleges and universities nationwide has tripled. Still, relatively few Americans are utilizing the services of a financial planner and only a handful who do are fully implementing a financial plan specifically prepared for them.

"New investors must be created out of former spenders and overspenders," insists Paul Richard, a registered financial consultant (RFC) and Executive Director of the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) based in San Diego, CA. "This is a real challenge for consumers because, it is their everyday spending decisions, and especially their credit based spending decisions, that will cause severe erosion of their financial future, more so than any investment decision they will likely ever make," he said, adding; "People who pay too much for things are also overspending."

More consumers are becoming aware of the importance of doing some financial planning, however they are not necessarily prepared to work with a financial/insurance planning professional because they think should or they may be making over $40,000 per year. There are five basic steps the ICFE suggests for consumers to complete before their first appointment with a financial and/or insurance planning professional.

1) Know your starting point by calculating your net worth and cash flow.
2) If spending more than your income, either increase income or mend your spending.
3) Establish a written spending-plan for your income and outgo, based on income frequency.
4) Predetermine how much you will set aside every pay period for saving and investing.
5) Know the reasons why you want to begin financial planning: retirement, college, etc.

For information about mending spending, increasing spending value, increasing savings, the wise use of credit and how to set up and implement a spending-plan for your personal and/or family finances, visit the ICFE's Web page at: http://www.icfe.info.

To receive the same information by mail, please send $1 and a self-addressed, 60 cent stamped envelope to:

ICFE Money Helps
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070.

Financial Planning Organizations Contacts:

http://www.iarfc.org
http://www.financialpro.org
http://www.fpanet.org
http://www.napfa.org