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What is a Financial Planner?


The newspapers and cyberspace are awash in stories about “financial planners.” Some manage their clients’ money with the care of a mother bird for its fledglings. Other “financial planners” manage their clients’ money as if the clients had said, “take it, my money is your money, do with it as you please – I don’t want it back.”

The September 27, 2009, Oregonian ran a story titled, “Your financial planner: friend or faux” in the It’s Only Money column. It was not the first such column on this subject they have run in recent days, nor will it be the last. These stories show up on the front pages of newspapers, blogs, and websites far and yon.

Where to find information about Financial Planners and personal money management? Try these:

1) My Money dot gov

2) Treasury Direct dot gov (a place to research government investment options)

3) The Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Law website: Forewarned is forearmed! Caveat Emptor and all that.

4) Check out your public library’s webpages, for example this one at Multnomah Public Library’s Research Topic Consumer Information pages.

5) NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors “is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement of Fee-Only comprehensive financial planning.”

6) Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

7) APR’s Marketplace Money (broadcast on OPB Radio on Friday evenings at 8 p.m. – not to be confused with their daily program, Marketplace) is informative and fun to listen to on whatever money topic they talk about and consumer financial education is their raison d’etre. (NPR’s Money Planet is informative and fun too, at least on the radio. I haven’t followed the blog or podcasts.)

8) Other: The Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Reports (webpages and print publications on a full range of consumer issues, including money management), Motley Fool is a favorite of many and so is Nolo Press (Personal Finance and Retirement pages and titles), and Liz Pulliam Weston’s column at MSN. (There are many more popular money people who write books, webpages, articles, etc. on personal money management. Check online or at your public library.)


The information provided on this blog is for research purposes only. We do not provide legal advice, nor do we endorse any person, product, or company.

It is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law (ORS 9.160, 9.166 and 9.21). They may not interpret statutes, cases or regulations, perform legal research, recommend or assist in the preparation of forms, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may, however, assist patrons in locating materials or links that would aid in individual research.

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