Overrated: Professional financial help often more of a hindrance
When you want to take care of your health, you go see a doctor. When you want to take care of your house, you call the best contractor you can find and, if you want to get in shape, a personal trainer (or at least some exercise classes) can be a wise investment.
That's the line of logic that many people use when they decide to hire a financial planner, adviser, broker, or whatever title is used for the person who promises to make you richer in exchange for a piece of the action. Here's the problem with hiring financial help: you're paying them to help you make money and, in addition to doing better than you'd do on your own, they have to do better by a wide enough margin to justify the fees. Professional financial help is like a swim coach who attaches himself to your back for the Olympic Trials.
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Study after study after study (See A Random Walk Down Wall Street) has shown that professionals are extremely unlikely to earn you better returns than you could on your own by buying low-cost index mutual funds through a company like Vanguard Group.
However if your financial situation is exceptionally complex, or you're just not comfortable doing a little research and making the decisions on your own, please, please, please only work with a fee-only financial planner, not a broker who is paid on commission and incentivized to sell you products that may not be in your best interests. Click here to find one in your area.