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Subject:  Re: Retirement Financial Advisor Date:  4/20/2011  9:18 PM
Author:  BruceCM Number:  68927 of 88011

As you begin your search, keep in mind the following:

- who ever's services you retain, you ( or in this case, your relative) are going to pay something. If, following your initial meeting, you are unclear on the total cost and exactly what services will be provided, then you probably should shop elsewhere.

- Credentials are important, as they do demonstrate a willingness on the part of the advisor to put in the time and work to at least learn the basics of finance. The most common credentials are the CPA and CFP, with the CFA designation for investments (although the latter might be a bit of overkill for your relative). And this advisor should be registered as an investment advisor (RIA) meaning that they are required to be a fiduciary and meet the interests of their client BEFORE their own. .if the advisor, or their employer, is not an RIA, then it is pure sales, and you (your relative) are on your own.

- Keep in mind that personal finance is more than investments. Household debt, at least a simple estate plan, at least minimal liability and health insurace to protect ones self from catestrophic loss...these are some examples of what each individual needs to think about. Just as your physician thinks of you as a whole person (not just as a case of high blood pressure), so a real financial advisor will think of your relative as more than an investment.

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