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Devno
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Financial Advice  Reply with quote  

Can anyone recommend a professional service that could help me plan my financial future. I want to buy a house, but am not sure if it's wise since I'm under a lot of debt. I need a financial adviser to take a look at my income and obligations and set a plan to accomplish my goals (if they can be accomplished at all). Also, how much does a service like this cost, generally?
Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:23 pm
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coaster
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Look for someone who charges a fee for their service. The ones who offer free analysis are commission-based, and while sometimes they can also offer reasonably good financial advice, they'll only want to recommend products that earn them a commission. Look for someone who's been in business for a while and has a loyal clientele. Look for someone who has a professional designation. CFA and CFP come to mind at the moment.

~Tim~
Post Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:33 am
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Devno
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Thanks, Tim.

But I don't know the first thing about finding someone like that. Ameritrade, for instance, list financial advisors with CFPs, but they don't give much more info than that. I've also heard read negative things about Ameritrade's financial advisors. I'll call around tomorrow to get some sense of the landscape, but in the mean time, anyone have any idea what I can expect as far a reasonable fees and such. Do I have to have some sort of account with them? Or ways to evaluate these guys?
Post Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:52 am
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coaster
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Fees are all over the map. You don't need an account. But most will base part or all of their fee on the assets. The best thing to do, if you can in your situation, is to ask around among other people in similar economic circumstances to find out who they've used and if they're happy with the service. When you've got some names, you can call whatever state dept licenses them to find out if there are any problems, and call consumer protection and the BBB to find out if there are any complaints. Sorry, I can't help with specifics. The nature of the game......

~Tim~
Post Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:48 am
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BlankenshipFP
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A couple of places that you can check for fee-only financial planners:

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) - www.napfa.org
The Garrett Planning Network - www.garrettplanningnetwork.com

Each of these sites has a "find a planner" section on it so you can narrow your search to your geographic area if you wish...

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA
Blankenship Financial Planning, Ltd.
www.BlankenshipFinancial.com
Standard IRS Circular 230 Notice Applies
Post Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:28 pm
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