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 TipYou will have to check out the advisor for yourself to know if he or she can be good for you and your personal circumstances.
- The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards will allow you to look for advisors by name, city, state, or zip code, and it will let you know if the advisor's certification status is current, and whether there is any disciplinary history to worry about, allowing you to find a planner candidate and do the first background check all at once. See www.cfp.net, and look for the "Find a CFP Professional" link.
- The Financial Planning Association's search feature will tell you if a planner will give you a free consultation. All listed members have at least a CFP credential, but be aware that the fanciest listingsâ