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No. of Recommendations: 3
Terri,

You can manage your finances yourself but you have to decide if you want to. On the plus side you will learn a new area of expertise and you will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of various financial alternatives. On the down side it takes time and dicipline. Do you want to read the WSJ and surf the web for financial information and maybe even have to read company financial reports?
The down side of a financial advisor is they cost something (I paid a set fee over 20 years ago) and they are not perfect even if honest and some are not honest. The more you know about finance the more you will know about how an advisor can serve you or lead you astray. Of course this is true of laywers, doctors and other professions as well. But do be diligent in selecting a financial advisor. My advisor came from the recommendation of a Navy Officer whose funds he managed. He understood all the pay and benifits we received and had decent suggestions for managing service folks. I do know people who have lost money with flakey advisors.
I was lucky to have a financial advisor who set up some funds, counseled buying a house, set insurance levels and other useful advice when I knew nothing about financial issues and didn't have many assets. Now 20 years later I find one fund was pretty good (OPTFX) one OK and one missed the mark (S&P in my mind), a tech fund, fortunately the smallest one. I would not have done better at that time. But in tha last few years, before finding the Fool, I have set up my own fund and bought a few stocks and a couple DRIP funds and I definitely did better that my old advisor, better than the market and most folks on a % basis.
But I do not regret the financial advice I received over 20 years ago and I have not felt it necessary to change funds only to add ones to fill out other areas of interest.
So keep asking questions and learning. Despite the Fool emphasis on managing your own finances I see nothing wrong about professional advice but you should know that you can do it yourself.
There really should be an interesting discussion as to do it yourself VS professional advice. There is a case for both but the more you know the more you can select and monitor a professional service.
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