13+ Things Your Financial Adviser Won’t Tell You

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1. Certified financial planners and NAPFA-registered financial advisers take a pledge to put their clients' interests ahead of their own, but traditional stockbrokers aren't held to the same standard, even if they've given themselves the title “financial adviser.”

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2. Do some digging before you hand me the keys to your future. Use BrokerCheck at finra.org to see if I've been in trouble.

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3. If I work on commission, I typically make money whenever you buy a new product, and I've probably got monthly quotas to meet. That's why I always seem to call with something to purchase at the end of the month.

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4. I may have other incentives to get you to buy. If I sell to enough people, I could win a trip to the Caribbean, a new laptop, or a big bonus. (The guys behind the product may also have bought my dinner at Morton's last week and sponsored our corporate golf tournament.)

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5. Before buying a mutual fund with a load, see if there is a better option. For every fund that has one of these sales charges, there's usually a similar one that doesn't.

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6. Be careful with annuities. They pay me big commissions, but they're not a good fit for many clients.

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7. Stay away from investments that have a fee to get back out. If you get married, get divorced, change jobs, or move, it can come back to bite you.

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8. There have been ten recessions since 1953. I have no clue where the market is going, and neither does anyone else. So if someone promises a certain amount of growth, walk away.

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9. You're spending way too much. But I'm not going to be the one to tell you to give up your cleaning lady or your fancy car-or me.

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10. Some of us can give discounts, but you may not get one if you don't ask.

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11. Haven't heard from me in a while? Not a good sign. I don't like to be the bearer of bad news.

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12. Everyone wants no fees, no risk, double-digit returns. I want a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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13. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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