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Finding a Financial Planner

Financial Planners: How To Pick A Good One—And Why The Best One Might Just Be You

By Suze Orman

Look, I know how much we’ve become a nation addicted to contract labor. What past generations did for themselves, we now “outsource” to someone else without a second thought. Our lives seem so busy and stressful we are willing to pay someone to do just about everything but brush our teeth for us: someone to clean the house, another to tend the garden, the kid down the block to shovel the snow, an auto mechanic for the oil change, a nanny for afternoon carpool, a dog walker to make sure Fido gets his exercise.

And from a certain angle maybe that’s understandable. Some of us spend so many hours at the office that it’s easy to think there just isn’t time to handle everything else without help. But we need to talk about one area of your personal life where I think it’s imperative for you to do as much of the work as possible, rather than turning control over to someone else: your finances.

Let’s cut straight to the bottom line here: what happens to your money affects the quality of your life, not your financial advisor’s life, your banker’s life, or your insurance agent’s life. Just your life. So it’s essential that you understand what is going on, and are able to make informed decisions for yourself. In fact, I am convinced all of you have what it takes to go it alone, especially with the easy-to-follow guide I am here to give you on the key steps you need to take to manage your finances.

Taking In Account First Impressions

Okay, all that said, I know a lot of you will still want to have help managing your finances. If you absolutely, positively think you want to farm out some of your financial responsibilities to an adviser, just do the homework to make sure you hire someone good. A really talented financial adviser is an incredible asset; but a bad or even mediocre planner is going to create a mess for you, and put your financial security at risk.


Do-It-Yourself Financial Planning

So often I see people run to a financial planner because they are psyched-out by the seeming complexity of their finances. That's because there is so much information floating around out there you think you can't possibly know what the right thing to do is. The truth is that most financial decisions can be stripped down to a fairly simple essence, and can thus be tackled by anyone. No professional help needed. more...

If You Absolutely, Positively Need to Hire a Planner

Here are my Five Questions for Grilling a Potential Financial Planner: more...

Financial Planning Checklist
To keep yourself on track to healthier personal finances, start here by printing out this checklist of important to-dos when planning your financial future.

Start Now!

Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. She is the author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Road to Wealth. Suze Orman, a Certified Financial Planner Professional®, directed the Suze Orman Financial Group from 1987-1997, served as Vice President of Investments for Prudential Bache Securities from 1983-87, and from 1980-83, was an Account Executive at Merrill Lynch.

Watch Suze every Saturday night on CNBC. Check for TV listings. More great advice on Suze's blog.

 Yahoo! Finance - Planning Center
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