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Asset Allocation For Dummies® by Jerry A. Miccolis, Dorianne Perrucci

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Chapter 16. Finding Help When You Need It

Maybe you're overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up with your portfolio of investments on your own. Maybe you're afraid you'll make silly mistakes doing it all yourself. Or maybe you just want an expert to bounce ideas off of as you manage your assets. If you're thinking of hiring a professional advisor, you're not alone. The financial services industry is growing — fast! — because many people want the help of an expert.

Before you rush out and make an appointment with the first financial guru you find in the phonebook or your best friend's "money guy," you need to figure out what you're hoping to get out of your relationship with an advisor. There are good reasons and not-so-good reasons for hiring someone to help with your asset allocation, and you need to make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. The top reason for bringing on an advisor is to help you achieve your investment goals. (You can read more about goal setting and developing an investment plan in Chapters 6 and 7.)

When you're clear that your head is in the right place, you need to be able to wade through the dozens of financial certifications out there. Think we're exaggerating? Believe it or not, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a self-regulatory ...

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