THUMBS DOWN: Discern Financial Advising from Hustling

Physician's Money Digest, September 2006, Volume 13, Issue 9

Money

Money

The financial advising niche isattracting an increasing number ofuntrustworthy salespeople, trying toswindle unsuspecting physician-investorsinto shifting their portfolio intoinvestments they themselves are soliciting.magazine warns to beaware of advisors whose advice straysfrom creating a financial plan andfocuses on selling investments youown and buying new ones from them.Make sure the advisor is registeredwith your state securities department(www.nasaa.org) and does not have alist of complaints. Also, familiarizeyourself with the value behind eachcredential—they may be a marketinggimmick. For example, the popular CSAcredential. While it does come from areal organization, the Society of CertifiedSenior Advisors, says itmerely means that your advisor took aself-study course or a 4-day coursethat only requires passing a 100-questionmultiple-choice exam. So, moreletters following a name does not necessarilymean more expertise. Obtainingreferrals from trusted friends orcolleagues is a safe way to choose anadvisor, or contact respected industrygroups like the Financial PlanningAssociation (www.fpanet.org) or theNational Association of Personal FinancialAdvisors (www.napfa.org).