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CHAPTER 1

More and more insurance agencies, banks, and even Certified Public Accountants are getting into the investment business. Many of these people only promote and sell certain products. You may like the Oppenheimer Global Growth and Income Fund, but that doesn’t mean that you should invest in every Oppenheimer fund. There are, perhaps, other mutual fund companies that would better fit your needs. Every investor’s portfolio benefits from having choices avail- able. Financial advisors have many different investment vehicles at their fingertips that help their clients achieve their goals. Advisors focus on these goals and needs to decide which investment is best, rather than applying a cafeteria plan to each client.

At some point in time, everyone will need the help and expertise that only a financial advisor can provide. They offer a well-balanced approach to your finances. Let’s face it, you may be too emotionally involved with your money to manage it properly. You have worked hard for you money and don’t want to lose it. A financial advisor is the third party to your financial situation. Just like you wouldn’t per- form surgery on a family member, why should you perform surgery on your money?

Recognizing the need for a financial advisor is the first step to tak- ing control of your finances and increasing your wealth. Selecting the proper advisor is a harder task. This is a very important challenge.You need to find the right advisor for your situation. Receiving referrals from friends or family members is a good place to start. If they are willing to share the name of their advisor, that means that they trust him. However, if you are uncomfortable asking or don’t know anyone who uses an advisor, then you will be starting from scratch.

There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your advi- sor. First, don’t be afraid to interview your potential advisor or shop around. Most planners offer a free initial consultation. This will give you the chance to sit down with advisors and ask questions. Second, make sure you feel comfortable with your advisor. During your ini- tial meeting, gauge how you feel. Did the staff make you feel wel- come? Do you feel comfortable discussing the most intimate details of your financial situation with this advisor? Do you think you can trust this person? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, then you should probably continue to look for an advisor. Third, make

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