A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE ARCHIVES

Finding a Financial Adviser

September 17th, 2008, byMichelle Singletary

Q: Can you direct me as to how to find a good financial adviser?

A:I like to begin answering this question with a quote.

Samuel Johnson wrote: “Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and…the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.”

If you have money to invest and you aren’t sure what to do with it, it’s not a bad idea to get help. And when I say help, that’s what I mean.

Don’t go looking for a financial saver or someone to whom you can just turn over your money. Your financial adviser should be just that, an adviser. You should stay in control and invest based on your own long-term plans.

To find a financial adviser, start asking friends, family or co-workers. Ask around to see if they’ve been working with someone they like and trust.

You can also find a planner by going through the Financial Planning Association. To find a fee-only planner, you might first check with The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, which is the professional association of fee-only financial planners.

Picking a financial planning professional is tough, especially since you won’t really know how good the person is until after you’ve made or lost money. And it might seem counterintuitive to pay good money to have someone tell you what to do with your finances. But a good adviser’s job is to help you identify your financial goals and work with you to develop a plan to reach those goals.

Last modified: April 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm