Money Essentials

1. The first financial professional you should hire is a:
    Stock broker.
    Insurance agent.
    Financial planner.
2. After getting to know your situation, the first thing a planner should do is:
    Take you to lunch.
    Advise you on mutual funds.
    Suggest appropriate asset-allocation plans.
3. The first thing to find out about a planner is:
    What associations they belong to.
    What degrees they hold.
    Whether they charge advisory fees, collect commissions on investments you may by through them, or both.
4. Full-service brokers are preferable for those who:
    Trade infrequently but need a lot of advice when they do.
    Need more attention in general than more experienced investors.
    Want to get into the right mutual fund.
5. Don't leave your interview with a prospective broker without:
    Their Social Security number.
    Their CRD number.
    Their golf handicap.
6. The standard reason not to hire a CPA to prepare your tax return is:
    They're less competent than other types of tax accountants.
    They only handle returns of the self-employed.
    Many of them charge more than non-CPAs.
7. What do many CPAs offer in addition to tax preparation?
    Ideas on ways to streamline your accounting so your life is easier at tax time.
    Counsel on how your current divorce proceedings will affect next years tax position.
    Ways to structure your small business to minimize tax exposure.
    All of the above.
8. It often makes sense to seek out an exclusive insurance agent when:
    You already know you want to do business with their company.
    You want to learn about what different companies have to offer.
    The independent agent at your country club wont leave you alone.
9. At your initial meeting, see how well the insurance agent:
    Explains complex policies.
    Quotes premium prices without fumbling.
    Knows the corporate officers of the insurer.
10. For those who aren't financially sophisticated, it's often better to:
    Hire one individual for insurance, brokerage, planning and tax accounting.
    Hire separate individuals for these tasks.
    Read a few books, skip the planner and go to the others only when they need to buy financial products.