Jean Chatzky
How do you know if your financial adviser is really taking care of your financial situation? Jean talks with Robin Davis, author of Who's Sitting on Your Nest Egg? Why You Need a Financial Advisor and Ten Easy Tests for Finding the Best One, about how to find the best person to handle your assets and money. Robin shares her suggestions on what to look for when screening financial adviser candidates:

  • Find someone who handles all areas of financial planning. If your financial adviser does not cover investment, tax, retirement/income, estate and insurance planning, Robin says you may want to shop around for a new one.
  • Make sure they ask for your tax return. "If they don't ask for the tax return, then they don't care about that part of your finances," Robin says.
  • Ask how many people they employ. "If they have a staff, then you know that they are not doing everything and they have more time to take care of you," Robin says. "[Also] the more clients they have, the bigger the staff should be."
  • There should be paperwork involved. Robin says a good financial adviser asks you to fill out about four forms that detail your financial history, status and goals.
  • Make sure they are taking a lot of notes. "If somebody is not taking notes when they are sitting there, they are just having you talk," she says.
  • Estate planning should come up. "If they don't know what your estate planning is, they can't properly advise you on how your account should be titled to get that money where you want it to go when you pass away," she says.