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Getting Started in Finding a Financial Advisor

ISBN: 978-0-470-53878-4
262 pages
May 2010
Getting Started in Finding a Financial Advisor (0470538783) cover image

An accessible guide that contains the tools needed to find trustworthy financial assistance

Given the events of the past two years-from bankruptcies to financial scams-it is more important than ever that investors understand who they are hiring to handle their finances.

Getting Started in Finding a Financial Advisor explores the important relationship between an investor and their financial advisor and examines how you should go about finding potential candidates. Along the way, it shows you how to interview and check the credentials of six key types of advisor so that you can spot and avoid rogues, scam artists, and incompetents. You will also learn how to understand what can happen if the institution or the advisor ends up in financial or legal difficulty. This insightful and useful guide

  • Helps you determine the kind of advisor best-suited for your situation
  • Provides interview questions, discusses what credentials really mean, and which are important
  • Explains in detail the issue of fiduciary responsibility of financial advisors, so you can find helpers who are on your side

Most people who give advice about money are trusted without actually earning that trust. Getting Started in Finding a Financial Advisor helps you set the highest standards, allowing you to locate professionals who can be trusted to protect your financial well-being and help you prosper.

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Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Part I: A Soup-To-Nuts Guide on Selecting Your Advisor.

Chapter 1: You Need Financial Help. Now What?

Chapter 2: You Get What You Pay For, and Pay for What You Get.

Chapter 3: The Seven Big Mistakes People Make When Hiring Advisers.

Chapter 4: Why You May Be the Only One You Can Trust.

Chapter 5: Swimming through Alphabet Soup.

Part II: Selecting, Interviewing and Getting Rid of Your Advisor.

Chapter 6: Your First Meeting with an Adviser.

Chapter 7: Interviewing a Financial Planner.

Chapter 8: Interviewing a Broker.

Chapter 9: Interviewing a Money Manager.

Chapter 10: Interviewing Insurance Agents.

Chapter 11: Interviewing an Accountant/Tax Preparer.

Chapter 12: Interviewing a Lawyer.

Chapter 13: Interviewing a Real Estate Agent.

Chapter 14: Get What You Need from References and Referrals.

Chapter 15: Breaking up Is Hard to Do.

The Last Word.

About the Author.

Index.

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Chuck Jaffe is a Senior Columnist for MarketWatch. His work is syndicated nationally to an audience of more than twenty million readers per week, with his "Your Funds" column being the most widely read feature on mutual fund investing in America. Upon joining MarketWatch in 2003, Jaffe created the "Stupid Investment of the Week" column, a quirky feature that highlights the flaws that make for bad investments. In addition to MarketWatch, Jaffe provides regular guest commentary for Nightly Business Report on public television and for All Things Considered on National Public Radio.
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June 01, 2010
Getting Started in Finding a Financial Advisor

There has never been a time when people needed more help with their finances or a time when they were more scared about hiring an advisor. In yet another story about the fraudulent behavior of a financial advisor, Kenneth Starr, whose clients have included such Hollywood stars as Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, has been arrested on suspicion of using at least $30 million in clients' money to fund his extravagant lifestyle. And for all of the Bernie Madoffs of the world, smaller schemes perpetrated on average folks by rogue brokers and financial planners happen more frequently. So how does the average investor know how to find a trustworthy financial assistant?

In GETTING STARTED IN FINDING A FINANCIAL ADVISOR (Wiley; May 2010; $19.95; 978-0-470-53878-4; Paperback), MarketWatch columnist Chuck Jaffe explores the important relationship between an investor and their financial advisor and examines how to identify potential candidates. According to Jaffe, it is important to recognize these facts when it comes to hiring financial advisors: the vast majority of them are honest, scrupulous, trustworthy, hardworking folks with good intentions but it doesn’t help that there are so many good ones if one picks an incompetent, lazy, or crooked one; and individuals can do almost all of these jobs themselves; however, they can butcher their finances as well or better than anyone else if they don’t know what they are doing.

This practical guide to finding trustworthy financial assistance:

  • Helps determine the kind of advisor best-suited for various situations
  • Highlights common mistakes people make when hiring advisors
  • Explains in detail the fiduciary responsibility of financial advisors
  • Discusses what credentials really mean and which are important
  • Provides essential interview questions for seven types of advisors: financial planners; stockbrokers; money managers; insurance agents; accountants; lawyers; and real estate agents
  • Addresses what can happen if the institution or advisor ends up in financial or legal difficulty
  • Presents the signs needed to recognize when a  relationship with a financial advisor goes wrong and includes advice on how to fix the relationship or leave if issues cannot be resolved

GETTING STARTED IN FINDING A FINANCIAL ADVISOR offers invaluable guidance to locating professionals who can be trusted to protect their clients’ financial well-being and help them prosper.

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