Friday, June 13, 2008

Selecting a Financial Planner: Spell "Fiduciary"?

Alina Tugend expresses shock over the casual way in which some people select a financial planner:
Like many people, especially in these financially unsettling times, I long for someone to look at our portfolio — such as it is — and tell us how to manage everything so that we can send both our children to the college of their choice, retire at 65 and be able to send postcards from exotic locations to our future grandchildren.

I also do not want anyone to tell me that I am living in a dream world or that just to build our savings, we will have to cut down on expenses like eating out, the occasional shopping spree and tennis lessons.

I want a magician. Or a liar.

But a financial planner would probably be a good start. We do have a stockbroker who assists us in investing our retirement fund. But analyzing where we are financially and where we should be going isn’t a bad idea. What I learned, though, is that while most people hire a financial planner more casually than they might, say, choose a hair stylist, you really should go into it as if you are selecting a marriage counselor.
She also gives some good hints for your search.

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