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1 For Immediate Release For a review copy of the book or an interview with John Vento, please contact Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company Public Relations, at (828) or Not Just for Warren Buffett: Why Everyone Needs a Financial Planner (And How to Make The Most of Your Relationship) For many Americans, not a day goes by without worrying about money. Author and CPA John Vento says the best way to ease this anxiety is to work with a trusted financial planner who can help you paint a bright financial future. City, State (January 2013) Chances are you ve spent more than a few sleepless nights worrying about money: Have I saved enough for retirement? How will we pay for the kids college? Do I need life insurance, and if so, how much? These questions and many more constantly rattle through the minds of many Americans, and the worry they create have only gotten worse since the Great Recession and the slow economy left in its wake. Author John Vento says the best way to ease your money worries is to improve your overall financial picture. Oh, and if you re relying on the person who got you to this point (hint: that would be you) to get you out, you re making a big mistake. You need a good financial planner. I think most people fall into two camps, says Vento, president of his New Yorkbased Certified Public Accounting Firm, John J. Vento, CPA, P.C., and author of the new book Financial Independence (Getting to Point X): An Advisor s Guide to Comprehensive Wealth Management (Wiley, 2013, ISBN: , $40.00). They either think they don t have enough money to need a financial planner. Or they re wealthy and think they can get by on advice from their stock broker or tax attorney. But both groups are wrong. Everyone needs a trusted advisor to guide them during good times and bad, he adds. Someone whose primary goal will be to help you achieve your long-term financial objectives. This trusted advisor should be a financial planner who can analyze

2 your financial status and assist you in setting up and implementing a financial program to achieve your ultimate goal of financial independence. A CPA and CFP with decades of experience, Vento knows exactly what it takes to sustain and build wealth. His new book is a complete resource for anyone concerned with building wealth and financial security in today s no-guarantee financial environment. Authoritative, comprehensive, and up to the minute, it is an essential financial guide for every individual and every family. Financial independence the point at which we can stop working for our money and our money starts working for us or point X, as I call it in my book, is the financial ideal that we all seek, says Vento. With the right plan and a commitment to making the necessary life changes, anyone can reach their Point X. Of course, selecting the right trusted advisor to guide you will be one of the most important decisions you make in your journey to financial independence. Read on for few tips from Vento on how to get the most out of working with a financial planner: Develop a speed-dial relationship. It s pretty simple: the better your financial advisor knows you, the more effective she ll be at managing your wealth and helping you reach your personal Point X. You should see your financial planner as a trusted advisor and feel comfortable sharing personal information with her. She needs to have a clear picture of your financial goals and dreams as they develop and evolve. If you don t already have a financial planner, the best place to start is with your friends and family, Vento shares. Ask them if they can recommend a trusted advisor with whom they have worked. But keep in mind that even if an advisor is perfect on paper, you ll also need to click in person to some extent. Otherwise, you won t feel as comfortable sharing personal details. Ideally, to get the most out of the relationship, you ll want to meet with your advisor multiple times a year, especially if your financial situation or outlook changes. Know what to ask. Especially when choosing a financial planner, there s no such thing as being too prepared for a meeting. It s important to ask the right questions so that you can rest assured that your advisor is qualified and ideally suited to meet your needs. At minimum, Vento recommends seeking answers to the following: What are this advisor s qualifications, areas of expertise, and approach to risktaking? Does this line up with my needs and comfort levels? Are this advisor s services fee-based, hourly, or based on commission? To what standard of care with this advisor be held: fiduciary or suitability?

3 Will the financial decision-making be customized to me, or does the advisor take one-size-fits-all approach? Does this advisor offer tax advisory service that will be integrated into my overall financial planning? Will I be dealing directly with this advisor throughout my relationship with the firm, or will I sometimes see a junior member of the team? Of course, this list isn t exhaustive, Vento qualifies. The more research and preparation you can do before choosing a financial planner for yourself, the better. (Note to Editor: For a full list of questions to ask when choosing a financial planner, please see the attached tipsheet.) Know what qualifications to look for. There are more than 100 designations, or credentials, in the financial service industry, and more are being created each year. Commonly recognized examples include certified financial planners, certified public accountants, chartered financial analysts, stock brokers, insurance agents, and tax attorneys. It s very important to understand the basic differences between these designations so that you can make sure that the members of your wealth management team are the most qualified and suited to meet your needs. Before meeting with financial planners (and I do recommend interviewing several before hiring someone), you should do some research about their backgrounds, including their education and other relevant credentials, Vento urges. A good place to start would be visiting their websites, and then the licensing board website for whatever credentials they hold. Think of it as an investment, not an expense. Yes, it s easy to look at the fee or commission your financial planner charges and think to yourself, Is this really worth it? I really don t need yet another expense in my life. Quash that line of thought, urges Vento. Yes, the services of a financial professional might cost you some out-of-pocket money up front. But that s not the last you ll see of that cash. Over time, the value of a trusted financial planner will far outweigh the cost. Don t view accounting and legal fees as an expense, Vento reiterates. If the professional services provided are not saving you many times the cost of the fee, then it s time to look for a new advisor. Not only can financial professionals help you build your wealth; they can also prevent you from making costly decisions. Know the difference between suitability and fiduciary standards. Technical jargon like suitability and fiduciary is often a turn-off to those who aren t in the industry. After all, you think, I shouldn t have to know terms like that! I m hiring a professional so I don t have to concern myself with those things. However, taking a little time to learn the difference between those two terms in particular can save you money and potentially determine the kind of relationship you have with your financial advisor.

4 The suitability standard requires a client to receive recommendations that are suitable to his particular circumstances, but under it, financial professionals aren t required to put his best interests first or to disclose conflicts of interest, Vento explains. The fiduciary standard is more rigorous and requires financial professionals to always act in the client s best interests and to disclose conflicts of interest. I definitely recommend working with an advisor who is held to the fiduciary standard, as it will maximize your savings and earnings. It will also help you to trust your advisor more fully. Beware of certain red flags. Unfortunately, we don t live in a perfect world. Honesty isn t universal, people sometimes take advantage of others for personal gain, and corners are cut for convenience s sake. That being the case, it s a good idea to keep your eyes open for certain red flags when choosing and working with a financial planner. For example, does your advisor make decisions that are customized to you, or does he take a one-size-fits-all approach with all of his clients? If it s the latter, watch out: a 30 year old s goals and risk tolerance are much different than those of a 70 year old. Overall, listen to your intuition, Vento recommends. If your advisor keeps trying to talk you into a financial move that you don t feel comfortable with, it may be time to move on or continue your search. You need to completely trust a professional s ability and vision for your financial future. Be open to taking advice. Once you have found a qualified financial planner whom you like and trust, give serious consideration to taking her advice. Simply agreeing that her recommendations are sound isn t enough; you must implement them if you want to maximize your financial future. First, let me be clear I m not saying you should never question your financial planner, Vento says. It s important to raise questions and objections if you have them, and you shouldn t do anything you re not comfortable with. However, I can t tell you how many people I ve worked with who have lost thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential earnings because they didn t act on my advice. A good example is the stereotypical client who knows that saving for the future is smart, but keeps coming up with excuses to wait. If that s your strategy, don t blame your financial advisor when you don t meet your goals. Use your financial planner to build a wealth management team. Finding a financial planner who is a good fit for you is an important first step. But according to Vento, the road doesn t end with that advisor. It s important to build a team of financial professionals whose specific areas of expertise can help you achieve your goals and reach Point X. Ask your financial planner to recommend other professionals and help you build a wealth management team, he explains. You need a whole picture view of your financial situation, which you can t get from just one person. Depending on your circumstances, needs, and goals, you might also want to work with a certified public accountant to handle your taxes, a stock broker to invest on your behalf, an insurance

5 agent, and more. If you re ever in need of a tax attorney or estate attorney, for instance, your financial planner should be able to make those recommendations as well. It s true: planning a sound financial future is no small matter, says Vento. There s a lot to consider. So much that often people don t take any action at all. Waiting to get your finances in order is not going to bring you any peace of mind or help you build a brighter financial future. But working with a financial planner certainly can. Don t waste another second. You simply can t afford it. # # # About the Author John J. Vento is author of Financial Independence (Getting to Point X): An Advisor s Guide to Comprehensive Wealth Management (Wiley, 2013, ISBN: , $40.00). He has been the President of the New York City based Certified Public Accounting firm John J. Vento, CPA, P.C., and Comprehensive Wealth Management Ltd. since His organization is focused on professional practices, high net worth individuals and those committed to becoming financially independent. He has been the keynote speaker at various seminars and conferences throughout the United States which focus on tax and financial strategies that create wealth. John has been ranked among the most successful advisors of a nationwide investment service firm and has held this distinction since Mr. Vento brings with him his vast experience from working with KPMG, one of the Big Four Certified Public Accounting firms where he specialized in audits of the medical and dental profession and the financial service industry. He has been an adjunct professor at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY as well as Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. John has also been an advocate for promoting financial literacy and has been a lecturer throughout the New York City Public Library system. John J. Vento graduated from Pace University with a bachelor s degree in business administration in public accounting, and continued on to earn an MBA in taxation from St. John s University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Vento is also a Certified Financial Planner TM (CFP ). About the Book:

6 Financial Independence (Getting to Point X): An Advisor s Guide to Comprehensive Wealth Management (Wiley, 2013, ISBN: , $40.00) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling In Canada, call John J. Vento is a registered representative registered to transact business with clients in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, Nevada, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusets, and Oklahoma. Securities offered through H.D. Vest Investment ServicesSM, Member SIPC, Advisory services offered through H.D. Vest Advisory ServicesSM, 6333 N. State Highway 161, Fourth Floor, Irving, TX 75038,

For Immediate Release

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