Michele Clark
Clark Hourly Financial Planning - Chesterfield, MO Advisor
17295 Chesterfield Airport Road, Suite 200
Chesterfield, MO 63005 USA
Work 636.375.1813
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Garrett Planning Network Retreat

August 31st, 2012

The Garrett Planning Network 12th Annual Retreat was recently held in Denver Colorado.   I am a member of the Garrett Planning Network.  It is a group of about 300 financial planners that offer financial planning on an hourly basis, each member owns their own firm.  I have written about the Garrett Planning Network before.

I attended the conference and earned continuing education credits by going to various educational programs, which I need so that I can keep my designations and licenses such as:

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
  • CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR
  • NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor

During the four day conference I attended various educational programs such as:

  • Factors That Have the Biggest Impact On Your Client’s Long Term Financial Plan
  • Understanding Longevity
  • Paying for College
  • Curing Social “In-Security” Part 1 and 2

Kent Smetters, PhD, the Boettner Chair Professor, at the Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy of the United States Treasury, gave the Keynote address. Dr Smetters provided comments on the impact of using one model portfolio for all of a client’s investment goals vs. individual goal-based asset-liability matching.

Throughout the year, the Garrett Planning Network, has three or four conference calls each month.  One of the most beneficial outcomes of my annual trip to this retreat , is getting together with this group in person.  They are a terrific group of professional financial planners who, like me, work with clients on an hourly basis.  We share ideas and act as a resource for each other all year, so it is so nice to get together once a year and see each other.

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What is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor?

February 3rd, 2012

When I first became a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor I heard, more than a few times, “Congratulations… what is that?”  It wasn’t surprising, because NAPFA is a small, but important group.

What is NAPFA?

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is a group of professional financial advisors who give advice on a Fee-Only basis, meaning no commissions or incentives.  This way the client pays for the advice (rather than the mutual fund company or the insurance company, for example) and the client feels more comfortable that they are getting objective advice.  NAPFA was started in 1983 and only has about 2,400 members.  Considering the number of financial advisors there are in the country only a very small percentage of them offer advice on a Fee-Only basis.

How do you become a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor?

Becoming a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor is a multi-step process. From the www.napfa.org website:

*You must agree to follow the NAPFA Fiduciary Oath

* Advise across Disciplines “NAPFA –Registered Financial Advisors are broadly trained to bring together and apply the separate disciplines comprising personal finance – income tax, financial position and cash flow, retirement preparation, estate planning, investments, and risk management.”

* Have a Bachelor’s degree

* Hold the CFP® or CPA/PFS designation

* Submit a comprehensive financial plan for peer review

* 60 hours of Continuing Education every two years

What does it mean to be a NAPFA member?

I recently participated in a volunteer effort called JumpStart Retire, which was a joint effort between Kiplinger Magazine and NAPFA to offer consumers the opportunity to have their retirement questions answered for free by NAPFA professionals. I answered phones for four hours and answered a lot of questions; I really enjoyed myself and got to help people as well.  What I call a “Do Good/Feel Good”.  I plan to do more of that with future NAPFA pro bono opportunities.  Also, NAPFA has free webinars from time to time for consumers as well.  To quote from www.napfa.org, NAPFA members live by three important values:

* To be the beacon for independent, objective advice for individuals and families.

*To be the champion of financial services delivered in the public interest.

* To be the standard bearer for the emerging profession of financial planning.

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