Seeking an Investment Advisor

The Jacksons knew they needed help with their wealth-building strategy--here's how they finally found the right financial planner

and often. His advice: ask how your planner keeps up with the financial industry, and ask what courses, conventions or seminars he or she attends.

Peltier enrolls in a seminar or meeting once every six weeks. He makes sure to stop in on the yearly convention for CFPs and attends quarterly sessions to gather tips from product providers sponsored by his brokerage firm. That’s a good thing, too, considering that whenever he’s setting up an estate account for Jorre or Dosh Malik, the Jackson’s 19-month-old son, he’s on top of the latest twists in tax laws and investing.

Read up. Before you head out to look for a financial aide of your own, we’d recommend looking at Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisers, (Bloomberg, $19.95), a book that walks you through just what to expect and how to handle what could be one of your most profitable relationships. Another great guide, Choosing a Financial Planner, is available for free from the institutional money management firm TIAA-CREF (800842-2733).

After all, working with Peltier was, in some ways, just the beginning for the Jacksons.
Scott says he’s learned enough to have a budding curiosity about stocks, and has started looking into shares of computer networking companies-Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), for instance–whose equipment he comes across at work. “When you’re on the outside looking in, personal finance can be intimidating,” says Dawn. “But, truthfully, a lot of this stuff is easy, once you have the right person to help you through it.”

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