Advice for finding an adviser

Posted by: Lauren Young on February 2, 2006

Peggy S. Cabaniss, the new president of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, came to visit me this week. I’m a big fan of NAPFA advisers (our style here is “adviser” with an “e”) because they work on a fee-only basis and seem to provide truly objective advice.

In addition, NAPFA advisers have to fulfill 60 hours of continuing education coursework every two years. (The typical certified financial planner only needs 30 hours of study every two years.) They are required to study more touchy-feely topics like counseling and communication, which helps advisers deal with the more emotional side of financial planning. NAPFA members also sign an oath saying the adviser puts the client’s needs first and won’t accept compensation or other remuneration that is contingent on a client’s purchase or sale of a financial product.

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Overall, NAPFA advisers are an upstanding group—I liken them to the Boy Scouts of the financial planning industry. The problem is that there are only 1,300 NAPFA members nationwide, which means it can be hard to find an adviser to work with in your hometown. Here in New York City, for example, the NAPFA members typically cater to high-net worth clientele. So when my not-so-rich friends ask me for an adviser referral, I have a hard time offering up names.

Realizing that demand exceeds supply, NAPFA has put together a checklist to find an adviser as well as a more lengthy Financial Planning Diagnostic to help investors find advisers. I recommend checking out both of these before you hire a financial adviser/advisor, consultant, or broker.

Reader Comments

Bobbie Dodson

January 31, 2007 6:55 PM

Neither page listed above about finding a financial advisor would come up when clicked on. Is there any other way to receive this information?

Matthew12

November 13, 2009 8:18 AM

Nice post about the financial Advisors. This will be very much useful for the Business people while hiring a Financial Advisers. By the way have you heard of Gentlerainaffluentmarketing.com. They are providing good services in providing good advices for the Financial Advisor and Marketing people..

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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