Some readers of financial blogs keep coming back for the free “advice.” There are some better ways to get in touch with financial advisement online, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has a few suggestions for finding a real advisor through the internet.
* The Alliance of Cambridge Advisors is a network of 75 advisors in 25 states who passed a peer review, passed a long training course, and regularly attend industry conferences.
* The Garrett Planning Network lists 250 fee-only advisors and helps you find an advisor tailored to your own interests. Take a look at their financial fitness wheel.
* MyFinancialAdvice.com pairs you up with an advisor who can provide immediate advice. Their database contains advisors grouped by topic their a range of hourly rates. Once you select an advisor, you can email your question. The website will respond with the price and estimated response time for your answer.
* WiserAdvisor.com lets you narrow down your search to find an advisor with a specific set of qualification determined by you, but Kiplinger’s claims spotty results.
* Paladin Investor Resources is an elite group of advisors; only 820 out of the 14,000 who applied made the cut and many have multiple certifications.
When you meet with a financial advisor, the first meeting is usually free. This time should be used to determine if the relationship is right for you. Kiplinger’s offers these suggested questions:
- Are there financial incentives for you to recommend certain products?
- Do you provide a comprehensive written analysis of my financial situation and recommendations?
- Do you take custody of, or have access to, my assets?
- Do you have clients who might be willing to speak with me about your services?
The Internet is a great tool for financial advice, as long as you’re looking in the right places. These links should help you get started.
Updated December 20, 2011 and originally published September 18, 2006.