When choosing a financial planner to help manage your money, the importance of careful screening cannot be overstated. Indeed, amid the thousands of reputable advisors who serve their clients well, there exist a few who are only out for personal gain—or worse, to scam would-be investors out of their hard-earned savings.
If your advisor makes anywhere near the following statements, run, don't walk for the nearest exit.
Credentials Don't Count
Virtually anyone can hang a shingle and call themselves a financial advisor. No experience required. Before handing their money over, investors should always ask if they are a licensed broker or investment advisor, Walsh said. Advisors who have passed the requirements from their professional organization to act as a certified financial planner (CFP®) or chartered financial consultant (ChFC) also have demonstrated competency in helping investors create a comprehensive financial plan. Likewise, chartered financial analysts (CFA) are trained to provide investment advice, while certified public accountants (CPA) are considered tax experts. Read more >
Shelly K. Schwartz
June 14, 2013