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June 10, 2010


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I would add 1- Make sure the adviser can separate Insurance from Financial Goals. Insurance agents disguised as financial planners seem to be plentiful out there. I know insurance plays a part but Whole Life Insurance or Variable Annuities etc. are not the be all of my financial future.

I agree with Mistake #7 since my wife's father is a Financial Planner. We do not agree on a number of things (see above) and it sure makes things difficult to talk about.

I assume you are talking about financial planner as distinct from investment manager. These are two different roles (sometimes wrapped up as one) that should, in my opinion be looked at a bit differently. If you have a complex life then you need a planner who is well versed in all the nuances of planning. For example, if you have been granted different types of options as an executive and are looking for a tax efficient way to diversify your asset holdings by getting out of your options you need someone who has the expertise to do this analysis for you. Not always easy!
On the other hand, if you are looking for someone to manage your assets there are different criteria. To me, one you didn't explicitly mention but sort of implied, is to make sure you understand the investment process. If they start throwing around a lot of buzz words and complicated jargon grab your wallet and run.
Use an RIA and not a broker. If you don't know the difference find out what it is. It relates to the above comment on watching out for insurance people. Get insurance from them - not investment advice or financial planning advice.

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