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Who Is Really Managing Your Money?
And why you probably don't know.

Who is really managing your money?  You probably think you have a qualified financial advisor managing your investments and doing your financial planning.  And maybe you are right.  But it makes sense to validate what you believe, especially when we are going through one of the worst financial and economic crises in our nation's history.

Despite what you may have read in books or magazines, almost everyone is better off working with a qualified, properly designated and properly licensed financial advisor.  More than 70% of all millionaires in the United States work with financial advisors.  That statistic alone is proof that the vast majority of investors would be better of with help from the right financial professional.

Unfortunately, thousands and thousands if not millions of people are mislead every year by imposters that misrepresent themselves, misrepresent their credentials and misrepresent financial products.  So the key to getting good investment, insurance and financial advice is to make sure you have the right professional helping you.  The best place to start is by checking

The website scores and rates advisors based on their professional designations, professional licenses, years of experience, customer complaints, background checks, education and six other categories.  This information is then placed into a copy written formula that produces a very accurate assessment of a Financial Advisor’s skill set, which is scored and translated into the StarRating System™.  Five stars is the highest achievable rating and any advisor with three or more stars is probably competent and should be a good, solid advisor.  These ratings can be viewed by anyone at any time for free by visting the website at

One of the best features of the website is an option to obtain an unrated advisor's score anonymously.  If your current or future financial advisor is not listed on the website, you can input their contact information and the staff at will try to contact the advisor and obtain a preliminary rating within 72 hours at no cost to you.  Best of all, you will remain completely anonymous.  If your advisor refuses to be rated, can search other advisors for you, provide a listing of nearby advisors with rating between 3 to 5 stars, or give you a 14 point checklist for evaluating financial advisors on your own.

If an advisor refuses to be rated be cautious.  Perhaps it is because the advisor does not want to pay the $149 annual listing fee that AdvisorRating charges to verify an advisor's credentials.  However, financial advisors typicallys spends thousands of dollars per year advertising.  It could be something else.  Use the free 14 point checklist to confirm the quality of the advisor you are working with or considering.  There are other ways to verify an advisor’s credentials.  You can start by checking with the SEC, FINRA, and the National Ethics Bureau.

Don't spend all of your time trying to understand how investments work and what they are supposed to do. That job is for the financial planner, insurance professional and investment advisor. Spend more of your time making sure you have the right advisor working for you and everything else will fall into place. 

by Staff Writer, - 4-10-09

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