How to Choose the Right Financial Advisor

September 27, 2016 | By More
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A financial advisor to manage your financial planning takes careful researchThe story I’m about to share will certainly prompt the question of anyone – how do you I go about choosing a financial advisor?  After all, this person, this firm, is going to take a portion of my life savings and oversee the details and execution of my financial planning. Let’s briefly look at the story.

A few weeks ago, I read an article in the Business section of the Chicago Tribune.  Reported by Corilyn Shropshire, it started out by sharing the following devastating comment:

“A Wilmette <an affluent Chicago-area suburb> investment adviser was sentenced to six years in prison for defrauding his clients of nearly $2 million.” (1)

In brief, this financial advisor took wired funds that were supposed to be invested on behalf of his clients and, instead, he “used the money to gamble at local casinos and cover his personal expenses.”  He was able to trick his clients by providing them fake account statements and phony stock certificates.  And, who were most of his victims – retired seniors!

The above story has happened before and, unfortunately, will likely happen again.  So, what do we do about it?  Since I am a personal finance researcher, I wanted to find some articles and websites for you to check out.  We invite you to visit the following resources to ramp up your know-how about this topic.

1. How to Choose a Financial Planner, The Wall Street Journal

2. 10 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Financial Advisor, Forbes

3. Client Beware: How To Choose A Financial Advisor, Suze Orman

4. How to Pick a Financial Planner, Kiplinger.com

5.  Pursuit of a Financial Advisor Field Guide, The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

6.  How To Pick A Financial Advisor That You Actually Trust, Business2Community.com

7.  Find The Right Financial Advisor, Investopedia.com

8.  Choosing a Financial Advisor, CFA Institute*

9.  Five Ways To Avoid Financial Adviser Fraud, Forbes.com

10. AvoidTheScam.net, Illinois Secretary of State website for articles and other information helpful to anyone.

11.  How to avoid hiring a Madoff-like financial advisor, Los Angeles Times

12.  Due Diligence: 10 Steps to Avoiding Ponzi Schemes and Financial Fraud, American Association of Individual Investors

13.  Avoiding Investment Fraud, Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

14.  Common Fraud Schemes, FBI.gov

15. How to avoid hiring a shady financial adviser, GetRichSlowly.com

16.  Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, SEC.gov (Securities & Exchange Commission)

There is a tremendous amount of information for money smart consumers to research on how to choose the right financial advisor, financial planning, and related topics.  Honestly, it can seem really overwhelming.  But, when it comes to your money, YOU have to be knowledgeable, cautious, and question everything.  Even then, nothing can be 100 percent safe when you hand the reigns of control to someone else.  But, you can at least be a helicopter investor – meaning – monitor and pay very close attention to your money.

Tips to Read:

We recommend you read through all the above-referenced resources.

Homework:

Take an opportunity to review other Posts we have published related to this topic:

Should You Take Financial Advice?
Money Experts: How to Know If What They Say is True
Millennials and Financial Advice
Retirement Planning: A Happy Retirement Requires Research

Endnotes:

(1) Wilmette investment adviser sentenced to more than 6 years for fraud, by Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune, September 2, 2016

* “CFA Institute is the global, not-for-profit professional association that administers the Chartered Financial Analyst® curriculum and examination program worldwide and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry.”

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Category: Financial Literacy, Financial Planning, Fraud, Money Tips on the Web, Scams

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