Personal Financial Advisors awaiting your call

Photo: Laughlin

Financial advice, you may have noticed, is everywhere (even here at from the bank teller who makes a referral to an in-house investment advisor…to a wealth manager who wants to dispense planning advice, manage your investment portfolio, and handle your family’s checkbook. You may not need to talk to someone who will set you up with the bank's proprietary mutual fund or can change your life but you’d like some personalized financial guidance. Where should you go and who should you ask for advice?

Over the years, I’ve spoken with sundry persons who have been or claimed to have been worthy to give me financial advice or some guidance relating to the financial realm. Here are some of the names I’ve heard:

  • Investment Advisor
  • Investment Consultant
  • Financial Planner
  • Financial Consultant
  • Personal Financial Advisor
  • Wealth Manager
  • Money Manager
  • Asset Manager
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Personal Banker
  • Relationship Banker
  • Relationship Manager
  • Stockbroker
  • Insurance Agent
  • Estate Planner
  • Attorney
  • Accountant
  • Fiduciary

with credentials that may include:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • MBA
  • specialized training in financial planning, financial management, insurance, investments, estate planning, and tax accounting
  • professional designations and licenses earned by completing specialized training and passing an exam

with designations and licenses such as:

  • CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
  • NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) Registered Financial Advisor
  • CFP (Certified Financial Planner)
  • ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant)
  • NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) Registered Representative and Securities Industry Professionals
  • Series 7, 63 licenses (sell and trade stock)
  • Series 6 license (sell mutual funds)
  • Licensed Agent, Life & Health Insurance

who receive compensation in many ways including:

  • Commissions paid by you (e.g., the consumer pays a broker for a securities trade)
  • Commissions received from a financial services provider (e.g., your insurance agent receives a commission from the insurance company for selling a life insurance policy to you)
  • Hourly fee (e.g., you pay an hourly fee for advice on certain topics)
  • Fee-for-defined service (e.g., you pay a flat fee for a financial plan)
  • Salary plus bonus (e.g., your banker receives a regular salary plus bonus for making referrals)
  • Percentage of assets (e.g., you pay 1% of assets being managed/invested by a financial pro)
  • Referral fees
  • A combination of all or some of the above

More on my experiences with financial pros later but I wanted to let you know about a chance to pose questions to a financial advisor free of charge. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (a group of fee-only financial pros known as Registered Financial Advisors) is partnering with Kiplinger (which provides personal financial advice and economic forecasting to individuals and businesses). Together, they are presenting Kiplinger's Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Days, dispensing custom advice for free rather than the usual $100-$250 per hour charge.

Here’s how it works: starting now, you can email questions to for a response on the selected days. Or, you can save them until Friday, August 17 and Thursday, August 30, 2007, when you can call 888-919-2345 to speak with an advisor (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time USA). Before then, compile some basic information about your investments (e.g., mutual fund statements and 401(k) plan choices) and get your questions ready.

If you need help wording your question, comment here and for more info, check out Kiplinger.

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Myscha Theriault's picture

That's neat, Julie. Thanks.

Will Chen's picture

I missed my free consultation!

Julie Rains's picture

You have another chance on Thursday, August 30 or you can go ahead and email now for a response on that day.

Guest's picture

This post reminds me. Google Answers had an interesting research project on the numbers of Series 6 and Series 7 professional stock brokers registered around the country, and their qualifications and licenses.

You can see the research results here:

Stock Broker Licenses

Worth a look!