It can be overwhelming knowing where to start with financial planning. Thankfully, there are some great online resources that can help you get started. You’re already on your way by reading this blog! Online resources are great, especially for people who might not have enough money to afford a financial planner, or are just shy. A lot of times, the people who need the most help with financial planning are the people who can’t afford to pay for any professional help. If you’ve got extra money to spend you must be doing something right. Online resources can be a great start for people who might not have the money to seek professional help. Here are some resources I suggest for learning about financial planning.

CFP Website

A great start is the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) website, The reason I love this website so much is that it just the good integrity you get when you’re working with an organization like the CFP Board. The tools and calculators on the site are designed to help you be more informed about your financial planning needs and will help you set and meet your financial goals. Some websites have ulterior motives, to sell you something or to scam you, so that’s why I like this one because it doesn’t have any of those motives. There’s a really helpful tab on the website that says Financial Planning Resources, and that can be really helpful if you are looking for tools for financial planning.

One-on-One with a Financial Planner

If you’re one of those people that just can’t seem to find what they’re looking for online, my advice to you is to get face-to-face with a certified financial planner and let them help you find tools that work for you. The website is also good because it connects you to certified financial planners, so you know that the service you are getting is from an official CFP who is trusted and knows their stuff.

Case by Case Analysis Works Best

The beauty of working as a certified financial planner is that each client that sits across my desk is different from every other client in a variety of ways. My profession is all about helping them find the right plan that suits their individual needs. Some people prefer to do all their financial planning online without a personal touch, but I think most people will find that there is a certain peace of mind that comes from being able to sit across the desk from a certified financial planner and know that he is presenting a plan to you and you only. If your CFP knows your needs and has tailored this plan specifically for you, then they understand your limits and your abilities in spending habits, and they are going to be able to help you and guide you along the way. I think this is especially beneficial to people who haven’t ever tried to spend on a budget before, because they have the social support system to help them, especially if they are having any specific troubles with a certain spending behavior. An online site might be able to give a detailed enough plan to someone who is very self-motivated, but for many other people it can be hard to find the motivation to stick to a specific financial plan.

Gregory M. Reed is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and a member of FINRA and SIPC, who works with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. You can find him at 3201 S. Providence Road, Ste. 102 in Columbia, Mo 65203 and can reach him at 573-777-1934. Visit his website for more information about financial planning.

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Gregory M. Reed, CFP® and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.

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