Top Reasons to Choose a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in New Jersey

Pursuing a comfortable, confident retirement for 30 years or more can be overwhelming, especially when you overlay market volatility on top of it. While many people are tempted to adopt a “do it yourself” approach for many of life’s important tasks, when it comes to managing your hard-earned retirement savings, it’s prudent to seek the services of a New Jersey CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®)

You have one opportunity to make your savings last throughout your lifetime. Therefore, engaging with a Paramus CFP® could be one of your most prudent moves.

This blog post will discuss the role of a CFP® in creating a comprehensive wealth management plan for you and your family. Their role should not be limited to investment management. They should start with a comprehensive financial plan that includes various tax and estate planning strategies and charitable giving plans.


Paramus CFPs® are not merely certification holders; they must possess multiple skills and adhere to high ethical standards. CFPs® provide a holistic view of your financial circumstances, crafting strategies that integrate all aspects of your financial life.

Bound by a strict professional code, CFPs® prioritize your best interests ahead of all other considerations, creating a sense of reliability and independence.

Becoming a Paramus CFP® includes:

  • Accumulate at least 6,000 hours of professional experience in financial planning or related areas.
  • Having to prepare for and pass the CFP® Certification Exam.
  • Complete and pass the CFP® Board-ethics course. This includes signing a declaration to uphold the CFP® Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
  • Undergo a background check, which includes criminal and disciplinary history.
  • Fulfill all continuing education requirements to stay current in the field.
  • Renew the CFP® certification every two years by meeting the continuing education and ethics requirements.

The Services of a Paramus CFP®

Local CFPs® offer specialized financial advice, blending investment, tax, retirement, and estate planning strategies to meet your needs. Following is a brief overview of the various services that CFP® certificate holders provide. 

Comprehensive Financial Planning

Comprehensive financial planning involves crafting a holistic strategy based on pursuing your financial goals. Just like you are setting out on a cross-country trip and need a roadmap to reach your destination using the route for you. You would need a map to leave home; the same is true for your financial future. You need a plan for working toward your goals – the destination that matters.

The planning process helps you make the right decisions for complex financial topics. 

Data Gathering and Analysis

New Jersey CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ conduct comprehensive analyses to understand your financial situation and craft tailored strategies based on your current and future needs.

This data-driven process is the cornerstone for producing effective financial plans that enable your CFPs® to deliver actionable recommendations for your financial future.

Investment Management

CFPs® also offer investment guidance tailored to your financial aspirations and tolerance or capacity for taking risks. CFPs® schedule regular portfolio reviews to keep you fully informed about the performance of your assets.

They also prioritize diversification to reduce your risk of large losses. And, while our mutual goals may be classified as long-term, the performance of your CFP is reviewed quarterly with frequent updates that are based on volatility in the security markets.

Risk Management and Insurance

We talk about risk, but what exactly is it? Your biggest risk is a failure to pursue your financial goals. For example, you don’t retire when you want to and live the way you want to. 

Another form of risk is the volatility of the stock. You already know it goes up and down in value on a regular basis. It doesn’t take much to drive the market up or down.

A third type of risk can be solved with the right insurance coverage. CFPs® provide proper insurance planning for various risks: Premature death, disability, long-term care, etc. 

Retirement Planning

Drawing from a deep well of expertise in areas such as asset allocation, tax strategies, and estate planning, a CFP® in New Jersey can craft a tailored plan that aligns with your specific retirement goals and concerns. Using a holistic approach, the CFP’s® recommends suitable investment vehicles and provides insights into other financial aspects like wealth transfer, charitable giving strategies, and tax minimization.

Education Planning

Suppose you have education costs on your horizon for your children or grandchildren. In that case, CFPs® can guide you through the process of building a complete education savings plan through avenues like 529 plans or Education Savings Accounts.

Charitable Donation Strategies

If giving back to the community (church, university, hospital, medical research) is important to you, an experienced CFP® can assist you in crafting a charitable giving strategy that helps the organizations you care about and provides opportunities to help reduce your tax burden at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone. 

Tax Planning Strategies

A Paramus CFP® firm can provide tax planning advice and tax-efficient investment strategies for you and your family. Through deep analysis of your financial circumstances, income streams, and current tax liabilities, a CFP® can help you identify optimal investments that seek to minimize taxes while seeking to advance your financial objectives. Whether allocating assets to a tax-advantaged account or recommending specific investment products like tax-free bonds, the expertise of a CFP® can be pivotal for potentially maximizing your after-tax returns and helping to preserve wealth.

Estate and Legacy Planning

In collaboration with estate lawyers, CFPs® can create strategies to effectively transfer your wealth in ways that allow your heirs to help keep more of what you are passing down to them. 

How to Choose a CFP® Near You

Selecting a CFP® near you is critical and is one of the most important choices you will ever make for yourself and your family. 

Several considerations come into play:

  • Sources of Expertise:  Start by investigating their knowledge: Degrees, years of experience, certifications, and other sources of knowledge
  • Specializations: Question their experience working with clients exactly like you. Their specialized knowledge could benefit you.
  • Team Environment: Find out if the advisors work in a multidisciplinary team environment and if you benefit from the team’s collective knowledge, fee schedule, and any other information about fees and commissions that impact your assets.

By taking these steps, you’re far more likely to select a CFP® who is a real professional and the right fit for your unique financial requirements.

Get to Know Integra Wealth Management

With more than twenty years of experience helping affluent individuals and families, Integra Wealth Management has become a go-to wealth management firm in Paramus, New Jersey. 

When Rich Dragotta, our founder, broke away from the traditional wirehouse environment in 2003, he wanted to create an independent financial advisory firm that allowed him to offer a more extensive array of well-regarded wealth management services and be impacted by the expectations of corporate bosses.  

From our vantage point on Wall Street, it became very evident that many firms in the industry had a single focus – selling investment products and being paid with commissions. This may have worked with certain investors but not for many advisors. But we understand that wealth is more than just assets; it’s about life, family, and legacy.

Our comprehensive approach to wealth management has been a cornerstone for our firm’s remarkable growth. We specialize in helping high-net-worth families, industry executives, and small business owners who are seeking more than just planning and portfolio management. They want a partner.

Your wealth is more than just an account with numbers; at Integra, we treat it with the care it deserves. We take the time to dig deep, understanding not just where you want your finances to go but also where you want your life to go. Because at the end of the day, what’s wealth for, if not to serve the life you want to live?  

Connect with us to learn more about our comprehensive wealth management services for successful individuals and families. 

Investment Management vs Wealth Management Integra Wealth Management
Richard Dragotta

More about the author: Richard Dragotta

Founder, Wealth Advisor - Rich is an esteemed 30+ year leader in the wealth management industry. His skill set includes all areas of wealth management execution, from practice development and compliance to operations, service delivery, workflow efficiency, marketing strategies, technology innovation, and human resources.

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