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Help on how to find the right financial advisor

By Dian Vujovich

Of the handful of review books on my desk that need reading, two offer help in finding a financial advisor. And while as different as night and day, each provides the reader with sound advice and direction.

One, “Getting Started in Finding a Financial Advisor”, written by well-known financial journalist Chuck Jaffe, is about 260 pages in length and pretty much includes everything anyone ever needs to think about when seeking a financial advisor. The other, “Your Life & Your Money”, by first-time author and financial advisor Scott Feher, is shorter and an easy-to-read general investment primer. The longest chapter in it focuses on deciding whether or not you need a financial advisor.

It’s no secret that most people know little about investing. Even many with plenty of money admit that. But moneyed or not, in today’s investment arena it’s impossible for one person—investor or advisor— to know all the ins and outs relating to the thousands of money-making opportunities out there. Between stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, the world of commodities, currencies, derivatives, insurance products etc. it’s a dizzying financial arena. Maybe that’s why so many are confused, easily snookered, invest in securities not best suited for them or simply make no investments at all.

Pick up Jaffe’s tome and you’ll no doubt enjoy his style while learning why and how to choose an advisor along with info about how they are paid. One point he makes worth remembering: “No matter the fee structure, there are potential conflicts of interest in virtually every type of advisory relationship.”

Feher, a financial advisor who works with Centaurus Financial, takes a pro-and-con point of view when looking at the various kinds of advisors around– like stockbrokers, insurance agents, bank representatives, independent financial advisors and RIAs. Cautionary words from him: “Be very careful whom you listen to and what advice you act upon.”

Between that quote and Jaffe’s I figure you’ve learned the two most important things to keep in mind before heading out in search of finding –or changing– a financial advisor(s).

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