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Best South Carolina Financial Planners

What to Look For in a Financial Planner

Choosing a financial planner is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. The first step is to assess your financial goals and needs. Are you planning for retirement, managing investments, or looking to reduce debt? Identifying your objectives will help you find a planner who specializes in those areas. It’s also important to understand the fee structure of potential planners. Some work on a fee-only basis, meaning they earn money solely from client fees and not from commissions on financial products. This can help ensure that the advice you receive is unbiased and in your best interest.

When researching financial planners, pay attention to their qualifications and certifications. Look for professionals who are Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), as this designation indicates they have met rigorous education, examination, and ethical standards. It’s also beneficial to read reviews and testimonials from other clients. Platforms like Yelp can provide valuable insights into the experiences of others and help you gauge the planner’s reputation and client satisfaction.

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Another critical aspect to consider is the planner’s experience and track record. How long have they been in the industry, and what kind of clients do they typically work with? A planner with extensive experience is likely to have a deeper understanding of the market and the intricacies of financial planning. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that the planner has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest. Fiduciaries are legally obligated to put their clients’ needs first, providing a higher level of trust and transparency.

Communication style and personal rapport are also important. You want to work with someone who listens to your concerns, explains complex concepts clearly, and makes you feel comfortable. An initial consultation or “get acquainted” meeting can help you determine if the planner’s approach aligns with your preferences. Finally, verify the planner’s credentials through reputable organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This step can help you avoid potential pitfalls and ensure you are working with a qualified professional.

Credentials to Look For

When selecting a financial planner, certain credentials can signal a high level of expertise and commitment to the profession. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is one of the most respected credentials in the industry. CFPs must complete extensive coursework, pass a comprehensive exam, and adhere to strict ethical standards. This certification demonstrates that the planner has a thorough understanding of financial planning principles and is committed to ongoing education.

Another valuable credential is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. CFAs are experts in investment management and analysis, making them well-suited for clients looking to build and manage investment portfolios. The CFA program is rigorous, requiring candidates to pass three levels of exams and accumulate relevant work experience. This designation is recognized globally and indicates a high level of competence in investment management.

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For those interested in tax planning, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential can be particularly beneficial. CPAs have specialized knowledge in accounting and tax regulations, making them adept at optimizing tax strategies and ensuring compliance. Additionally, some CPAs pursue the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation, which further emphasizes their expertise in financial planning.

The Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation is another credential to consider, especially for clients seeking guidance on debt management and financial counseling. AFCs are trained to provide practical financial education and counseling, helping clients develop sound financial habits and achieve their financial goals. This credential is ideal for individuals who need support with budgeting, debt reduction, and improving their overall financial well-being.

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When evaluating financial planners, it’s also important to consider their membership in professional organizations such as the Financial Planning Association (FPA) or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). Membership in these organizations often requires adherence to ethical guidelines and a commitment to continuing education, ensuring that the planner stays current with industry trends and best practices.

Top Financial Planners in South Carolina

1. Global View, LLC

Global View, LLC is an independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisory firm based in Greenville, SC. The firm’s team consists of five advisors and support staff, all of whom are Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). Their approach emphasizes understanding income taxation and estate planning issues, working closely with accountants and attorneys to meet clients’ needs. Global View does not sell proprietary products, ensuring that their advice is unbiased and solely in the clients’ best interest.

Contact Information:

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  • Address: 420 E Park Ave, Suite 303, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Phone: 864-272-0818
  • Website: Global View, LLC

2. Carolinas Wealth Management Group

Located in Greenville, SC, Carolinas Wealth Management Group offers comprehensive financial planning services, including retirement planning, wealth management, and risk management. The firm was established by Will, who has over 20 years of experience in the financial planning industry. Their services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client, ensuring personalized and effective financial strategies.

Contact Information:

3. Goepper Burkhardt LLC

Goepper Burkhardt LLC, founded in 2003, specializes in providing fee-only financial planning and investment management. Their mission is to help clients plan for a fulfilling retirement, whether that involves relaxation, new passions, or staying close to family. The firm focuses on portfolio management, retirement planning, and tax advice, ensuring a comprehensive approach to financial well-being.

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Contact Information:

  • Address: 531 South Main Street, Suite 303, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Phone: 864-370-3244
  • Website: Goepper Burkhardt LLC

4. Palmetto Financial Planners

Palmetto Financial Planners is an independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor firm serving Upstate and Coastal South Carolina. Their mission is to help clients identify and prioritize their financial goals and translate them into actionable plans. They offer a complimentary “Get Acquainted” meeting to describe their services and determine if they are a good fit for potential clients.

Contact Information:

5. Foster Victor Wealth Advisors

Foster Victor Wealth Advisors, based in Greenville, SC, offers a range of financial planning services. Founded in 2016, the firm is led by Paul W. Foster and Robert T. Victor, both of whom are experienced financial advisors. Their services include investment management, retirement planning, and estate planning, tailored to meet the specific needs of high-net-worth individuals and families.

Contact Information:

6. Beers Kight Financial Advisors, LLC

Beers Kight Financial Advisors, LLC is a fee-only firm located in Columbia, SC. They provide advisory services to high-net-worth individuals, pensions, and profit-sharing plans. The firm charges asset-based, hourly, and fixed fees for their services, ensuring transparency and alignment with clients’ interests.

Contact Information:

Table of Financial Planners

Firm Address Phone Services Offered Website
Global View, LLC 420 E Park Ave, Suite 303, Greenville, SC 29601 864-272-0818 Investment Strategy, Retirement Planning, Risk Management Global View, LLC
Carolinas Wealth Management Group 3 Caledon Ct Ste C, Greenville, SC 29615 864-918-9717 Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Risk Management Carolinas Wealth
Goepper Burkhardt LLC 531 South Main Street, Suite 303, Greenville, SC 29601 864-370-3244 Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning, Tax Advice Goepper Burkhardt
Palmetto Financial Planners 1201 Main St, Suite 1980, Columbia, SC 29201 803-931-5159 Financial Planning, Asset Management Palmetto Financial
Foster Victor Wealth Advisors 10 Toy St, Greenville, SC 29601 864-558-5130 Investment Management, Retirement Planning, Estate Planning Foster Victor
Beers Kight Financial Advisors 1001 Washington St, Columbia, SC 29201 803-799-4000 High-Net-Worth Advisory, Retirement Planning Beers Kight
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Client Testimonials and Reviews

Reading client reviews and testimonials is a crucial step in selecting a financial planner. Positive feedback from clients can provide reassurance about the planner’s expertise, professionalism,reliability, and client satisfaction. On platforms like Yelp, clients often share detailed experiences that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of financial planners. These reviews can offer a glimpse into the planner’s communication style, responsiveness, and effectiveness in achieving financial goals. Here are some notable reviews from Yelp for the top financial planners in South Carolina:

Global View, LLC Reviews

Clients of Global View, LLC consistently praise the firm’s personalized approach and expertise. One reviewer mentioned, “Adam and his team have been incredible in guiding us through our retirement planning. They take the time to understand our goals and provide tailored advice. Their knowledge of tax strategies and investment options is impressive.” Another client highlighted the firm’s transparency, saying, “Global View operates with a level of honesty and integrity that is rare in this industry. We never feel pressured into making decisions, and we appreciate their fee-only structure.”

Carolinas Wealth Management Group Reviews

Carolinas Wealth Management Group has received positive feedback for its comprehensive services and client-focused approach. A satisfied client wrote, “Will and his team have been instrumental in helping us manage our investments and plan for the future. They offer clear, actionable advice and always keep our best interests in mind.” Another reviewer emphasized the firm’s dedication, stating, “The level of attention and care we receive from Carolinas Wealth Management Group is unparalleled. They are always available to answer our questions and provide valuable insights.”

Goepper Burkhardt LLC Reviews

Goepper Burkhardt LLC is known for its commitment to client success and detailed financial planning. One reviewer shared, “The team at Goepper Burkhardt has been a game-changer for our retirement planning. Their thorough analysis and strategic advice have put us on a path to financial security.” Another client appreciated the firm’s focus on education, noting, “They take the time to explain complex financial concepts in a way that we can understand, which has empowered us to make informed decisions about our money.”

Palmetto Financial Planners Reviews

Palmetto Financial Planners receive accolades for their holistic approach and personalized service. A client remarked, “The team at Palmetto Financial Planners truly cares about our financial well-being. They provide comprehensive advice that covers all aspects of our financial life, from investments to estate planning.” Another reviewer highlighted the firm’s accessibility, saying, “We love how easy it is to communicate with our advisor. They are always responsive and willing to go the extra mile to ensure we are on track with our goals.”

Foster Victor Wealth Advisors Reviews

Foster Victor Wealth Advisors has built a strong reputation for their client-centered approach and expertise. One satisfied client shared, “Paul and Robert have been fantastic to work with. They take a holistic view of our finances and provide thoughtful, strategic advice.” Another reviewer appreciated the firm’s professionalism, stating, “Foster Victor Wealth Advisors operates with the highest level of integrity. They are transparent about their fees and always put our interests first.”

Beers Kight Financial Advisors, LLC Reviews

Clients of Beers Kight Financial Advisors, LLC appreciate the firm’s personalized service and expert guidance. A reviewer mentioned, “The team at Beers Kight has been invaluable in helping us manage our wealth and plan for the future. Their advice is always tailored to our specific needs.” Another client highlighted the firm’s dedication, saying, “We have been impressed by the level of attention and care we receive from Beers Kight. They are always proactive in addressing our concerns and providing solutions.”

Table of Client Reviews

Firm Review Highlights Website
Global View, LLC Personalized approach, expertise in tax strategies and investments, fee-only structure Global View, LLC
Carolinas Wealth Management Group Comprehensive services, client-focused approach, dedicated attention Carolinas Wealth
Goepper Burkhardt LLC Commitment to client success, detailed financial planning, focus on education Goepper Burkhardt
Palmetto Financial Planners Holistic approach, personalized service, accessibility Palmetto Financial
Foster Victor Wealth Advisors Client-centered approach, expertise, professionalism Foster Victor
Beers Kight Financial Advisors Personalized service, expert guidance, proactive in addressing concerns Beers Kight
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Common Pitfalls to Avoid

When choosing a financial planner, it’s important to be aware of common pitfalls that can undermine your financial planning efforts. One major pitfall is failing to verify the planner’s credentials and background. Always check for any disciplinary actions or complaints filed against the planner with regulatory bodies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This step can help you avoid working with individuals who may have a history of unethical behavior.

Another common mistake is not understanding the planner’s fee structure. Planners can be compensated in various ways, including commission-based, fee-only, and fee-based models. Commission-based planners earn money by selling financial products, which can create potential conflicts of interest. Fee-only planners, on the other hand, are paid solely by their clients, reducing the likelihood of biased advice. It’s crucial to understand how your planner is compensated and to ensure their interests are aligned with yours.

Many individuals also overlook the importance of a written financial plan. A comprehensive written plan serves as a roadmap for your financial goals and helps keep you accountable. Without a written plan, it’s easy to lose track of your objectives and make impulsive financial decisions. Ensure that your planner provides a detailed plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and timelines.

Communication is another critical factor. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and frustration. Choose a planner who is responsive, listens to your concerns, and explains complex concepts in a way you can understand. Regular check-ins and updates are essential to ensure that your financial plan stays on track and adjusts to any changes in your circumstances.

Finally, avoid planners who promise unrealistic returns or guarantee specific outcomes. The financial markets are inherently uncertain, and no planner can predict future performance with certainty. Be wary of anyone who makes exaggerated claims about their ability to deliver high returns or minimize risk. A reputable planner will provide realistic expectations and focus on long-term strategies rather than quick fixes.

Steps to Take Before Your First Meeting

Before your first meeting with a financial planner, it’s important to be well-prepared to make the most of the consultation. Start by gathering all relevant financial documents, including bank statements, investment account summaries, tax returns, and any existing financial plans or policies. Having this information on hand will give the planner a clear picture of your financial situation and help them provide more accurate advice.

Next, take some time to reflect on your financial goals and priorities. What do you hope to achieve with the help of a financial planner? Are you looking to save for retirement, pay off debt, or invest for the future? Having a clear understanding of your objectives will help you communicate your needs effectively and ensure that the planner’s recommendations align with your goals.

Prepare a list of questions to ask the planner during the meeting. Some important questions to consider include: What is your experience and background? How are you compensated? What services do you offer? What is your approach to financial planning? How will you communicate with me and how often? These questions will help you assess the planner’s qualifications and determine if they are a good fit for your needs.

It’s also helpful to research the planner’s credentials and any professional organizations they are affiliated with. Look for certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and check for any disciplinary actions or complaints filed with regulatory bodies like FINRA and the SEC. This due diligence can help you avoid potential issues and ensure you are working with a qualified professional.

During the meeting, be open and honest about your financial situation and goals. The more information you provide, the better the planner will be able to tailor their advice to your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something, and take notes to help you remember key points discussed during the meeting.

Conclusion

Selecting the right financial planner is a crucial step in achieving your financial goals and securing your future. By considering factors such as qualifications, experience, fee structure, and client reviews, you can find a planner who aligns with your needs and values. Remember to avoid common pitfalls, such as not verifying credentials or understanding fee structures, and be well-prepared for your first meeting to make the most of the consultation. With the right financial planner by your side, you can navigate the complexities of financial planning and work towards a secure and prosperous future.

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