How to Pick Them

How Do You Manage Wealth?

For some, “wealth management” means managing money. For others, setting up estate planning. For still others, planning how to protect assets. There’s no right universal answer – but the answer for you dictates your entire investing and saving philosophy.

How to Cope Amid a Disaster

You’re fired from your job. Your spouse dies. You’re in the middle of a divorce. Big changes muddle your decision-making and, in life as in investing, you sometimes freeze the action to regroup.

When your life turns upside-down, you can only think about all the things you need to do. The more you think about them, the bigger your headache becomes. You feel stuck.

Death of a Spouse: Now What?

If your spouse recently died, you now have special considerations when planning your financial future. Here’s what to know.

As most surviving spouses are women, we focus here on widows. Widowers will also find this information valuable.

The Market Makes You Sick?

Feel like your health declines with each Wall Street low? Here’s why you may be right.

Two professors from the University of California at San Diego did a study that finds a correlation between market declines and admission rates to hospitals.

The authors claim that market dips affect your mental health almost instantaneously and add that expectations about the financial future play a role in today’s happiness of you, the investor.

Multiple Advisors: The Pros and Cons

Last month, we advised asking prospective advisors what they don’t do, and how to fill in the gaps by hiring folks with the right expertise. Often, your needs intersect, so you require two specialists. But the risk is that your financial situation ends up disjointed, since the advisors often don’t pool their conclusions.

Selecting a Wealth Manager

Choosing an advisor is not easy. Nor should it be. Here are a few questions to ask as you start the process of selecting an advisor, as well as red flags to avoid at all costs.

·         How does the advisor get paid? Is she or he commission-based or fee-only? A fee-only advisor does not accept any type of commissions for product sales. For advisors who are compensated by commissions, you pay them as you execute trades.

Ask What Advisors Don’t Do

One of the first questions to ask, when shopping for an advisor, is what the person does not do.

Just as you won’t find a doctor who can treat your allergies and clean your teeth, it’s rare for one advisor to handle such disparate areas as investing, insurance, trusts and inheritance. You may need to spread the work around.

Sure, lots of advisors can handle your basic needs, such as drawing up a financial plan and running your money. But for other stuff, specialists are called for.

What to Ask an Advisor

When you seek a financial advisor, what questions should you ask? Your aim is to find someone who handles clients like you – and who is financially savvy.

If searching for an advisor to manage your assets, one question that’s of marginal help is: What’s your investment record? A money manager whose investment performance touched the sky last year may stumble this year.

Advisors for the Non-Wealthy

There is a widespread myth financial advisors are only for the wealthy. On the surface, that seems to make sense. Advisor income from the wealthy eclipses what can be gained from a client with just $50,000 or less in investable assets.

Know How to Hire a CPA

You reach the level of financial maturity where you must hire a certified public accountant (CPA) to help with certain aspects of your life and money. What should you look for?

The CPA title ranks as a widely recognized high credential for tax preparers and accountants. Each state’s Board of Accountancy licenses CPAs who practice in that state; each board issues rules that govern what a financial professional must do to become a licensed CPA.

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