The Different Types of Advisors

Checking Your Advisor

If you’re one of the some 10,000 people turning 65 every day for the next 15 years, your looming retirement probably spurs you to seek out a financial advisor to help with money decisions as you leave the workforce. Everywhere you see professionals with strings of letters after their names. How do you find the right advisor with the right credentials for you?

Listening to Gurus (Pt. 2)

Our first article looked at some reasons to often exercise caution with financial gurus such as Suze Orman. Here are more reasons to beware of gurus’ pop advice.

Stocks not for everyone. Orman enthusiastically recommends investing in the stock market. This one-size-fits-all advice misses something basic: Wall Street clearly isn’t for all investors.

Listening to Gurus (Pt. 1)

The airwaves hum with brash celebrity advisors dispensing financial wisdom in blanketing sound bites. Should you listen to them? Up to a point, but only up to a point.

Gurus - Are They Really?

When a financial advisor or an author of financial books becomes well-known, investors may assume they can trust that person’s advice. This isn’t necessarily the case.

Fame and quality don’t always go together. Recently, I was selected by an Internet community site called moneytips.com as one of their top 50 “social influencers.” This is a list of professionals in the areas of wealth and personal finance who use social media and other Internet tools effectively.

Advisors: What Women Need

Anyone familiar with John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus knows the premise that men and women communicate very differently. Perhaps this explains why most female investors prefer to work with a female advisor and most married women leave a male advisor after the husband dies. Starting with the first conversation, women want, need and deserve distinct treatment from financial advisors.

Gurus’ Advice: Be Skeptical

Many financial celebrities, like Dave Ramsey, hand out advice for an audience of millions that rarely applies to a real person. Instead of following their one-size-fits-all rules, you should make decisions based on your unique situation.

I’m not saying you should disregard what Dave or any of the other financial gurus out there has to say. What I am saying is that we need to take their advice with a grain of salt.

4 Uses of an Advisor

What is the value of a financial advisor? The personal touch. Here are four stories of how flesh-and-blood advisors you meet in person (that’s opposed to a robo-advisor, where your contact is digital or over a phone line) benefited their clients.

These good advisors helped clients to overcome emotionally based decisions, stop them from making mistakes, figure out whether to make a big purchase and decipher arcane retirement plans. We’ll have separate articles throughout the summer describing in greater detail how they helped their clients.

Advisors: Trust but Verify

You can never be too careful with the major matters of life – especially your financial future. Take a lesson in caution from a former U.S. president and the heavily armed guards at the gates of a military facility. Trust but verify your financial advisor’s bona fides.

I have the honor to provide financial counseling to service members, going to military installations to talk to soldiers and their families regarding financial issues such as buying a home, saving for retirement, reducing debt or creating a budget.

What an Advisor Should Ask

A common question that we get from people after telling them that we own our own financial planning firm is: What do you ask clients at the first meeting?

Robo-Advisors: the Downside

Robo-advisors are getting lots of misplaced accolades lately as the noble purveyors of inexpensive financial advice for the average person. And traditional advisors, the thinking goes, supposedly ignore that average person. Nonsense.

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