Accountant vs. Financial Planner

YNAB helped me get to a point where I was able to purchase my first house! Closing on Friday *insert happy dance* but I believe this causes a need for some professional services and not sure where to start...I've always done my own taxes online, but now with the house, growing 401k, CD ladders, and potentially purchasing stock options, things might get tricky. Should I start with an accountant for taxes? Work with a financial planner? Combination of both?  Please and thank you fellow YNABers!

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  • Congratulations!

    I think starting with a fee-only financial planner (such as a CFP) is a great idea. There's a lot of overlap between the expertise of a CPA and a CFP, but any good financial planner should be able to help you plan tax-efficient investment strategies and can also advice on insurance, estate planning, and other fun stuff like that. :)

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  • I would be leary of financial advisors that get a percentage of AUM (Assets Under Management). If you do the math, even a 1% fee comes out to a third of your nest egg over a 40 year career. It might not be too bad to start out with but I'd really encourage you to learn how to invest yourself. It's really not that hard in spite of what the financial advisor industry will tell you. It could be as simple as two funds. A total stock market index fund and a total bond market index fund, the ratio depending on your risk tolerance and time to retirement.

    I highly recommend the reading of The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins.

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