Originally Posted by timskitties
So how much time and effort one is able and willing to put into it determines the level of involvement. And the level of involvement can range all the way from minimal, where one cedes most control over investment decisions to a trusted financial professional, to complete, where one makes all of one's own investment decisions.
Tim, that is true. I know of people who are very knowledgeable, put alot of effort into their investments, and do very well on their own. Time, interest, knowledge and effort are key.
I do want to point out that the level of involvement when working with an advisor can vary, too. My relative has many clients who have the knowledge to manage their own investments, but lack the time. So those clients are higly involved in investment decisions. In fact, hardly any of his clients have ceded control of their accounts.
Originally Posted by "timskitties'
And look for one who's a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). These individuals have taken rigorous training courses and passed exams administered by professional accrediting organizations.
Yes, this is very important. Both of these programs take several years to complete and show that the individual has a high degree of expertise and commintment to the profession.
As for publications, I also like Smart Money and the Wall Street Journal. Check your local library for resources, too. Mine has Morningstar (mutual fund ratings) which is a great tool for evaluating mutual funds.