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|This article is a part of Wikinvest's Personal Finance section and Guide to Investing. Please contribute or edit to improve it.|
Before choosing a financial advisor do a little thinking. Define your goals for today, and for ten years down the road, and again for retirement. Get honest with yourself about all your assets and debts and monthly expenses.
My Advice is: Choose an advisor you can be completely honest with; you do not need to compete or impress; and someone who has already arrived at your intended destination. You want someone who's experienced with risk and who can impart financial discipline to you.
Before putting any cash in the hands of an advisor or planner, take a risk assessment. Your advisor should give you one anyway, but be sure you take it. This will determine which vehicles will comprise your investment pool. Regardless of your preferences, your ultimate goal is to achieve maximum gain while maintaining adequate risk control.
Explain your short and long term goals and make sure your advisor understands you exactly. Finally, reassess your financial position and your investments every year. Make sure your advisor is looking out for your best interests and you are still on track to meet or beat your future goals.