How to find a smart fee-for-service financial planner? We (especially DH) think we are pretty smart about investing (index funds!), but we have enough money saved now that we really would like another set of eyes on our choices. The people we’ve gone to so far are hearty retired-athlete types who are probably good at relationship building in general, but not with us. Basically we have to feel like the person is truly an expert and as smart as or smarter than we are or else we won’t be getting anything out of it. Do such people exist?
If you have a lot of money and are thinking about asset transfer/tax avoidance, then maybe a tax attorney or CPA. I’m not sure how to find a good one of those as we’re not in that bracket. If you have money in stocks there’s probably things that can be done with losses and conversions etc. to save money on your annual tax bill.
You are probably best off posting on the Bogleheads forum and asking your questions direclty. It is likely that the people who truly are experts and smarter than you are at this stuff are outside of what you’re willing to pay for their services. If you are willing to spend a large sum, then you’d be best off asking rich friends to ask their rich friends, though many of them are probably also getting shafted by people who aren’t actually doing what’s best for them.
If what you want is just about balance of assets, then asking the Bogleheads forum is going to work well. There are lots of smart and expert people on Bogleheads who are just giving financial advice to upper income folks away for free.
In addition, there’s a wide range of acceptable even given your personal risk tolerances. There really isn’t one optimal mix given uncertainty and our uncertainty about how certain we are. Because you are smart and have the basics down, if you do it yourself with the help of online calculators there won’t be much that a financial advisor can add. If you’ve exhausted your annual retirement savings and have space for taxable, here’s our thoughts on what should go where when you’re investing.
To sum: You are probably doing just fine. But if you have doubts, check out the Bogleheads forum. If you still want a financial planner, read through the Updegrave links above and you might get lucky, or be prepared to spend a lot and still have a chance of not getting much out of it.
Does anybody have better advice for CG? Have you found a financial planner you love? How?