How to pick a financial adviser

A guide to types of advisers and their fee structures, plus some key questions to ask before making your decision

Jon Wild & Holly Cook., 16 November, 2009 | 12:37PM

While many Morningstar readers are tried and true do-it-yourself investors, there may come a time when you consider turning to a financial professional. Though Morningstar is all for keeping costs to a minimum, there are occasions when it makes sense to hire a professional, such as if you no longer have the time to manage your own investments, face a complicated tax situation, or simply want a second opinion.

Paying a financial planner an ongoing fee to handle every aspect of your financial plan can make sense if you're extremely time-pressed or if your finances are particularly complicated. Ditto if you're very rich. Paying for ongoing financial advice (and hand-holding) may also be worth it if you've had trouble sticking with your investment plan through the market's many ups and downs. The best advisers earn their keep many times over by saving investors from their own worst tendencies to buy high and sell low.

For most other investors, however, it's not that difficult to create a sensible investment plan on your own, and this lesson from our Learning Centre can help you do that.

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The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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