Certified Finance Specialists Daphne AL

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Scott McLeod
Brown McLeod, Inc.
(251) 928-9498
508 Fairhope Avenue
Fairhope, AL
Expertises
Estate & Generational Planning Issues, Financial Issues Between Generations, High Net Worth Client Needs, Special Needs Planning, Alternative or Private Investments, Helping Clients Identify & Achieve Goals
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, BBA, CFP®

Stephen Haidt
Retirement Advisors, Inc.
(251) 344-0707
1009 Downtowner Blvd.
Mobile, AL
Expertises
Ongoing Investment Management, Retirement Planning & Distribution Rules
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, BS, CFP®

Stewart Welch
The Welch Group, LLC
(205) 879-5001
3940 Montclair Road, 5th Floor
Birmingham, AL
Expertises
Ongoing Investment Management, Planning Issues for Business Owners, Estate & Generational Planning Issues, Advising Medical Professionals, Retirement Planning & Distribution Rules, Tax Planning
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, CFP®, ChFc, CLU

John Brown
Brown McLeod, Inc.
(251) 928-9498
508 Fairhope Avenue
Fairhope, AL
Expertises
Ongoing Investment Management, Estate & Generational Planning Issues, Retirement Planning & Distribution Rules
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, BS, CFP®

Bryan Hancock
Timberchase Financial, LLC
(205) 980-7118
1211 Edenton Street
Birmingham, AL
Expertises
Advising Medical Professionals, High Net Worth Client Needs, Retirement Planning & Distribution Rules, Tax Planning, Planning Issues for Business Owners, Ongoing Investment Management
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, CFP®, ChFc, MBA

John Brown
Brown McLeod, Inc.
(251) 928-9498
508 Fairhope Avenue
Fairhope, AL
Expertises
Ongoing Investment Management, Estate & Generational Planning Issues, Retirement Planning & Distribution Rules
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, BS, CFP®

Scott McLeod
Brown McLeod, Inc.
(251) 928-9498
508 Fairhope Avenue
Fairhope, AL
Expertises
Estate & Generational Planning Issues, Financial Issues Between Generations, High Net Worth Client Needs, Special Needs Planning, Alternative or Private Investments, Helping Clients Identify & Achieve Goals
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, BBA, CFP®

John Lovejoy
Mainsail Asset Managment L.L.C.
(256) 575-0110
304 South Market Street, Suite 230
Scottsboro, AL
Expertises
Planning Issues for Business Owners, Charitable Giving - Trusts & Foundations, Middle Income Client Needs, Retirement Planning & Distribution Rules, Retirement Plan Investment Advice
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, CFA, CFP®, CLU

Donna Gordon
Wesban Financial Consultants, P.C.
(205) 995-7778
1800 Providence Park, Suite 200
Birmingham, AL
Expertises
Helping Clients Identify & Achieve Goals, Ongoing Investment Management, Tax Planning, Cash Flow/Budgets/Credit Issues, Women's Financial Planning Issues, Retirement Plan Investment Advice
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, CFP®, RFP

Larry West
Longview Financial Advisors, Inc.
(256) 547-7237
110 Bay Street
Gadsden, AL
Expertises
Ongoing Investment Management, Estate & Generational Planning Issues, Tax Planning, Alternative or Private Investments, Real Estate Investments, Advising Medical Professionals
Certifications
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, BS, CFP®, EA, MBA

Become a Finance Specialist

by Blanche Evans

As real estate agents search for new ways to brand themselves as specialists in the real estate transaction, training in the financial aspects of real estate buying and selling is more important than ever. A designation offered by the Residential Financing Council could be an important factor for agents who want to keep themselves at the center of the transaction.

The "Certified Finance Specialist (CFS(r) designation is designed to signify competence and experience in the area of real estate finance, says says Charles Dahlheimer, president of North American Consulting Group, Inc., and former president of REBAC and cofounder of the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation. Open to real estate and mortgage professionals, the designation is designed to bridge the link between the growth of buyer agency and a new focus on financing.

"The successful agent of the future will be recognized as a professional counselor and negotiator, one who can help the consumer interpret and evaluate information, provide advice and counsel, structure negotiating strategies and manage all aspects of the real estate transaction," says Dahlheimer.

As consumers become empowered with vast amounts of property information via the Internet, their confidence in agents hasn't necessarily grown. Brokers and agents complain across the country of commission compression, and competition from limited service or discount brokerages has put more pressure on traditional agents to distinguish themselves from low-cost competitors in new ways.

According to the "Future of Real Estate Brokerage," a study commissioned by the NAR, the number of real estate transactions has increased, but brokers are not reporting a comparable rise in profitability. In order to restore and enhance profitability, the broker will employ higher-cost technologies to serve consumers more efficiently and develop ancillary services to reduce dependence on commissions as revenue generators, all of which could result in a "a shift of power away from the agent toward the brokerage firm."

Dahlheimer sees an agent well-versed in finance as an asset to the consumer and the brokerage. The proliferation of loan products and the increase in unprincipled lenders using predatory practices, and the rise in buyer's agency all point the way to him that finance is the next great consumer opportunity.

"If the real estate agent is truly representing the buyer's best interests in the transaction, it is necessary for the agent to know what options may be available and to counsel the buyer not only in seeking out the best options, but also in helping them interpret the data that is available," says Dahlheimer.

The designation course is designed to teach agents how to detect and assist the buyer to challenge "junk" fees, to educate them about credit scoring and "A", "B" and "C" paper loans, and how to help buyers pick the loan that's best for their circumstances. Seller's agents are instructed to off...

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