Investing 101: How to Pick a Financial Advisor

Choosing the wrong one can be a nightmare�just ask Bernie Madoff�s clients

How much do you typically charge?
While the amount you pay the planner will depend on your particular needs, the financial planner should be able to provide you with an estimate of possible costs based on the work to be performed. Such costs should include the planner’s hourly rates or flat fees or the percentage he would receive as commission on products you may purchase as part of the financial planning recommendations.

After the interviews, carefully review your notes and access not only how you feel about each advisor, but how you believe they feel about you. Do they genuinely want you as a client? Did they speak plain English during the meeting or did they try to dazzle you with jargon? And, don’t forget to do your homework. If you received client referrals, call them, and check the current status of their licenses and/or credentials. (There are a number of credentials, ask the advisor for the Website associated with each credential and then look them up.)

Patricia Stallworth, CFP® and CDFA, is the president of PS Worth, a financial education company, the author of Minding Your Money, and the host of the Minding Your Money Minute™. Learn more by visiting MindingYourMoney.net.

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  • http://www.financialculture.com Lisa Smith

    Good post Bernie. The 1st thing i would see to it that he is much qualified to be a financial advisor. then his experience, does he know about the market and last not the least how much cleints he has handled and whom. Taking all this into consideration i will pick my financial adviso.