Large investment banks are hurting from both the lack of trust engendered from the bail out and the trend towards decentralization, especially regarding how individual investors no longer are dependent on large investment banks. To chose a financial advisor, I’d suggest the following points in your discernment.
#1. Get the background of an advisor from FINRA.ORG (this is the financial industries regulatory agency.) Any ethical violations will be registered for your review.
#2. Only write checks to THIRD PARTY CUSTODIANS, NEVER TO AN ADVISOR DIRECTLY.
#3. Check to see if the auditor is licensed.
#4. Only YOU possess account numbers and transaction confirmations.
#5. Know how your advisor chooses a money manager. This means asking detailed questions regarding balance sheets, investment strategies. Avoid personal relations from advisors and money managers.
#6. Discern the advisors track record in the market. Know how many clients have performed well, know how decisions are made, ask how a specific financial decision is dissected. Ask advisors to spell out strategies, benchmarks, fees, or financial products. Demand to know if anyone is benefitting from the relation between you and your advisor.
#7. AND FINALLY, ASK IF THEIR IS ANY FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TAKEN ON BY THE ADVISOR!
Formal written correspondence may impeded both your intuition and your strategic judgement regarding how you discern what is noted above. Take weeks/months to discern whom your going to trust for an advisor.