Whose Advice Can You Trust?

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to getting your financial life and legal documents in order is knowing who to trust. Here are six simple suggestions.

Let's get right to the crux of it:  whose advice can you trust?  There is no way to know (without a long-term relationship) whether someone is thinking about your best interests or his/her own pocketbook.  Ultimately, the goal is to find professionals that you can trust - but how?  Here are a few suggestions:

1.  Find professionals who are required BY LAW to put your interests before their own or anyone else's:  This would mean an attorney that is representing you and only you - or a certified financial planner designee (someone with a CFP® designation) in good standing with CFP Board of Standards [Find a CFP® Professional].  CFP® Professionals provide services with the "duty and care of a fiduciary".

2.  Create a Short List:  Who do you know that is particularly savvy in law or finance?  Ask that person for the names of two or three professionals keeping in mind that you are looking for 'specialists' for your particular situation (i.e. divorce, death/estate planning, retirement, etc...).

3.  Check licenses and regulatory history:  For attorneys, go to the Wisconsin State Bar website.  For financial planners, go to the CFP Board of Standards website.  For investment advisers, go to the SEC's Registry to check for 'Disclosure Information'.  

4.  Search online:  See if your professional has a website or a Linked In profile.  This is a great place to gather information on how s/he does business.

5.  Call and ask for a free initial consultation:  Not all professionals will offer this but it does not hurt to ask.  Even twenty minutes face-to-face can give you an idea if this is someone that you want to work with.

6.  Prepare beforehand:  Read the following - how to prepare for your meeting with a financial planner or how to prepare for a meeting with an attorney

Happy New Year - and good luck with your search!

PLEASE NOTE:  The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy.  When you access one of these links, you assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the websites you are linking to.  We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these websites and we accept no liability for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or use of third party technologies, websites, information and programs.

Registered Principal, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and Wilcox Financial Advisors, s.c. are not affiliated.  Wilcox Financial Advisors, s.c., is located at 10521 West Layton Avenue, Suite 200, Greenfield, Wisconsin  53228. www.laurawilcox.info 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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