Finding Candidates for a Financial Advisor

Just as your friends and relatives have different tastes in restaurants, books, clothing, and vacations, so might they have a different approach to working with an advisor than you have. And while you might think you know co-workers and neighbors, the truth is that most people say very little about the inner workings of their finances; that co-worker could have paid off the kids' college with an inheritance rather than a college savings plan, or she might have a raging debt problem that you don't know about (face it, somebody makes up those statistics).

Smart Investor Tip

You will have to check out the advisor for yourself to know if he or she can be good for you and your personal circumstances.
As such, they can be a great referral, but not much more than that. You will have to check out the advisor for yourself to know if he or she can be good for you and your personal circumstances. Moreover, you will want your search to include at least one planner whose inclusion on your list is not colored by what you think of the person who suggested you go. Consider the advisors who come independent of word of mouth to be your "control group," a kind of test for the word-of-mouth planners, to see just how much your judgment may be clouded by friendship. Many people who have tried this at my suggestion have found that the advisor with whom they had no connection came off as most knowledgeable and helpful; a big reason for the difference is that their loved one picked a financial planner by serendipity, rather than science. Here are several organizations that can supply names of financial planners in your area:
By Chuck Jaffe
Chuck Jaffe is a senior columnist and host of two weekly podcasts at MarkWatch. He has also been a guest speaker on several television and radio shows.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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