Who do they work for? For example, I am an independent business owner unaffiliated with any broker dealer. (Broker Dealer i.e., sales – key term to look for is agent or registered representative, meaning they are an agent or represent some other company).
What are their credentials? For example, I am a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional, fee only, and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers. And, how are they paid? Most other advisers are commission based, or fee based (paid by fees AND commissions).
The diagram below illustrates how I have structured relationships in order to better serve people so that important and critical functions are taken care of using other professional firms that are at arm’s length so that conflicts of interest may be minimized as much as possible.
Of course, for those who wish to work with me on an hourly basis, our relationship would not involve the lower two segments in the diagram, which involve implementation of your plan … we would work together in the upper two or three segments in that case which involve the planning phases for your plan.
Where can you find more information? Please visit the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov which will guide you to a firm’s registration on file with the State of California through the investment adviser search feature (for example, my firm CRD Number is 155213 – I plan a blog posting on reading these registrations sometime in April – when firms are required to have finished posting their annual update).
Using my website and this blog as an example, you may learn how to discern key points on other adviser websites.
You may read other blogs about my business structure so you are more fully and better informed.
PS. Coincidentally, this blog was scheduled a couple of months ago to post today … a couple days after my new Facebook page went live. So if you are reading this on Facebook for the first time, my blog has postings for the year prior to this year, archived and searchable by any term you like to enter in the search bar. If you don’t find a blog on a topic, let me know and I’ll work one up just for you.