How to Pick Them

The Future of Financial Advice

Financial planning looms in everyone’s life, including yours. Not all money advisors are created equal, though. Does yours do the best job for you – and how can you contribute to making your own plan?

“Is your advisor asking you, the investor, the right questions? Is the investor asking the right questions of the advisor?” said Jeffrey Vivacqua, senior vice president of business strategy at the Fairfield, Iowa-based broker-dealer Cambridge Investment Research, speaking at a recent advisory panel.

Why You Need a Financial Coach

Advisors are coaches who see your financial blind side. Even the best, market-savvy players can benefit from having an advisor.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Larry Light, editor-in-chief of personal finance site AdviceIQ, during a panel discussion for National Financial Advisor Week. He gave an example of how his advisor, Jim Ludwick of Main Street Financial Planning, got him into a free health-care program that he otherwise would probably never know he is eligible for.

Largest Wealth Shift Looms

A huge amount of assets will move from baby boomers to their millennial offspring over the next decade, according to the chief of a leading investment firm during National Financial Advisor Week.

“This will be the largest transfer of wealth in history,” said Nicholas Schorsch, executive director of the board of RCS Capital, who estimated the amount millennials will inherit at $30 trillion.

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.

Don’t Understand an Advisor?

What if you don’t understand what your financial advisor tells you? When the advisor uses abstruse (to you) financial or legal terms, you’re left in the dark. That is obviously not good for you in planning your finances. Here’s how to get clarity on the advice you hear, and pay for.

One of my staff members several years ago drove the communications problem home to me with this useful bit of advice: “Rick, your clients don’t understand half as much about investing as you think they do.”

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.

What Can You Delegate?

There are things in life that you can, and should, delegate. Financial planning is one of them.

Each of us has 168 hours in a week. After subtracting the time you work, sleep, eat and bathe, you are left with only a few precious hours to do whatever pleases you. If you spend 10 hours a day working and commuting, two hours eating, and eight hours a day sleeping, that leaves you 48 free hours. So how do you choose to spend your time?

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