Do you have questions about Pioneer Valley Financial Group? Below are some frequently asked questions. If your question was not answered below, feel free to call us at (413) 589-1500 or (877) 583-0053 or visit our contact us page.
What are your hours?
Our hours are Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
*Evening and Weekend appointments are available but must be scheduled.
What is a Financial Planner or Financial Advisor?
The term Financial Planner or Financial Advisor are broad terms for a person that helps you manage your money.
You can expect your financial planner or financial advisors to help you manage your investments (long-term or short-term), plan the sale or purchase of funds, stocks or other investments and help prepare a college saving fund or your retirement fund.
Why do I need a comprehensive financial plan?
A comprehensive plan is important because we design a personalized financial plan that is unique to you and only you. Each action plan is unique based on the financial priorities and goals that you have.
We believe that in order to provide first-rate service and guidance, the relationship between Investor and Advisor must be grounded in trust. Your Advisor will undoubtedly focus on your relationship, rather than the transaction, exercising balance, care, skill, diligence and objectivity in the comprehensive process utilized in developing and managing your financial life. Whether your goal is planning for a comfortable retirement, college funding for your children or grandchildren, or leaving a legacy to your favorite charity (or perhaps all of these!), Pioneer Valley Financial Group is confident we can help you work to fulfill your dreams. This action plan is not chiseled in stone, but it is subject to your review and approval.
Why do I need a Financial Planner or Advisor?
There are many different reasons a person might seek out a Financial Advisor. Life is chaotic and when it comes to the financial world, it can feel overwhelming.
At Pioneer Valley Financial Group, we can help you with all of your financial plans. We offer a variety of services including:
- Accumulation: how to target asset growth
- Retirement planning: how to target distribution of your assets in a tax-advantaged way
- Estate planning: how to preserve your assets
- Risk management: how to protect your assets
- Business planning: how to grow and manage your business
- Taxation: how to minimize your tax burden
- College Funding: how to prepare for your child/children’s future
What is a CFP®?
While many advisors call themselves financial planners, only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP Board can use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification. To earn and maintain this certification, CFP® professionals must meet the following requirements.
- Education: CFP® professionals develop theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by the CFP Board.
- Examination: CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive, six-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. The exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management, and insurance.
- Experience: Because CFP® professionals must have at least three years of hands-on experience in the financial planning process, they possess financial counseling skills in addition to technical knowledge.
- Ethics: CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, which sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients, and employers. The CFP Board also performs a background check on candidates for CFP® certification, who must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.
What is ChFC®?
The Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program provides in-depth knowledge of the skills needed to perform comprehensive financial planning for clients. ChFC® practitioners specialize in identifying and establishing specific financial goals for their clients, as well as formulating, implementing, and monitoring comprehensive plans to pursue them. Candidates must meet prescribed ethical, experiential, and educational requirements to earn the designation.
What is CLU®?
The Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) designation is the professional credential for individuals who specialize in life insurance and estate planning. The CLU® program provides in-depth knowledge of various insurance solutions and prepares candidates to serve the needs of their individual and business clients. To earn the designation, candidates must meet prescribed ethical, experiential, and educational requirements.
What is an AIF®?
Advisors who have earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation have acquired a thorough knowledge of fiduciary responsibilities. AIF® designees are required to successfully complete a program on investment fiduciary standards of care at the Center for Fiduciary Studies and have passed a comprehensive examination of the Center’s 27 Prudent Investment Practices. Designees are also required to adhere to continuing professional education requirements, which keep them abreast of recent events in the industry.
Why do these designations matter?
Advisors who have earned these designations have committed a great deal of time educating themselves on industry-standard practices in financial planning, investment management, and regulatory compliance. Designees are expected to incorporate what they’ve learned into their practices.
- Most certifications require designees to serve in a fiduciary capacity, acting in their clients’ best interest and minimizing potential conflicts of interest.
- In addition to the knowledge they gain earning a particular credential, most sponsor organizations require the designees to earn a certain number of continuing education credits each year to keep up with industry developments.