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shark-infested waters: hiring a financial advisor, part 1

Last week’s post notwithstanding, everyone’s financial situation is different; sooner or later you’re probably going to want to consult a financial planner. However, the financial services industry has such a bad rap that a lot of people I know have opted for doing the research themselves, with varying degrees of success. (I can’t tell you how many engineers I know invested in a “sure thing” — Dutch auctions, municipal bonds, a bevy of stocks picked by a program they wrote — that promptly collapsed in 2008.) If you don’t have the time, inclination, or trust in your own financial wizardry, you’re going to want to hire a planner. But how to find one that won’t take a huge bite (as it were) out

investing for retirement: just tell me what to do!

Some people love to dive into new subjects; they take a hankering to learn about, say, computers, and the next thing you know they’re telling you stories of DEC and Xerox with stars in their eyes. Some people, however, can’t be bothered. They want to know what a decent course of action is, and all they care about is that the advice comes from someone they trust. They don’t want to know the whys and wherefores; they just want something that works. They’re busy folk, and they have better things to do. This post is for them. If someone stopped me on the street and asked me how to invest for retirement, this is probably what I would tell them. I’m not going to go into details here; rather, I’m g

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