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Hiring a Financial Advisor

 Click here to listen the audio file The Ten Golden Rules of Hiring a Financial Advisor. (Real Audio File - )

You can also download these special tools:
Finish Rich Advisor Questionnaire (PDF)
Finish Rich Advisor Gradecard (PDF)

Following are some great resources that will help you:

The Financial Planning Association
The FPA's web site allows you to search -- by zip code -- for an advisor who has qualified as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
This site allows you to search -- also by zip code -- for financial planners who operate on a fee-only basis.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
The Institute of Certified Financial Planners will provide you with referrals to CFPs in your area if you call them. It also offers what it calls a Financial Planning Resource Kit, a collection of free brochures that will answer most of your questions about the subject.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Personal Financial Planning Division
Provides referrals to members who have CPA licenses as well as CFPs.


Check Your Prospective Advisor's Credentials

Never hire a financial advisor without checking out his or her background. The best way to verify licenses, educational background, and experience is to contact the organizations listed below:

National Association of Securities Dealers
The National Association of Securities Dealers is the DMV of financial advisors. Always start here. This site lists just about everything you could ever need to know about a financial advisor, including where they went to school, where they have worked, and if there are any complaints listed.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
This group sets and enforces the standards advisors must meet in order to cal themselves certified financial planners. This site allows you to check the status of a CFP-registered advisor.

North American Securities Administration Association
Organized in 1919, this organization is devoted to investor protection. This site is dedicated to helping investors protect themselves against securities fraud and can provide you with additional information on this topic.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners
This group is an organization of state insurance regulators. Through its online National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), you can find information on more than 2.5 million insurance agents and brokers, including their licensing status and disciplinary history.

For more information

  • Read this article in Smart Money Magazine

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