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How an advisor is compensated can have an impact on the type of advice that you receive. Fee-only advisors are paid solely by the client, while commission-based brokers are paid by third parties in return for selling specific products. Many advisors receive both fees and commissions. See our "Guide to Financial Advisor Compensation" for more information.

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While designations are not everything when selecting a financial advisor, they often indicate a certain level of knowledge related to a specific field and/or commitment to certain ethical and professional standards. Please see our detailed Guide to Financial Advisor Designations for more information.

Availability

  • Len Cohen AEP,CFP®,CLU

    Gaithersburg, MD

    Retirement, Investing, Insurance

    9 answers

    3 people found Len's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I must begin my RMD distributions this year. I have $700,000 in my IRA (traditional). It is divided into 3 Fidelity funds (FFFAX 400,000 (Income Fund); FFFCX 200,000 a 2010 Fund; FLPSX 105,000 Low Price). Should I take the distribution equally from all 3 or take 100% from the income fund to let the others "grow"?

    Congratulations!  You have done a great job of saving.  Not only is your retirement secure, but you are also in an excellent position to help your next generations and the institutions which are important to you. You definitely should not take your distributions in proportion from each of the accounts.  When you were accumulating wealth it made no difference what the sequence of returns was.  This has now changed.  It matters greatly to your ultimate account values...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Rachel Millios EA,MBA

    Burke, VA

    Taxes

    21 answers

    11 people found Rachel's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    My husband won't tell me if he filed our taxes and I need to know in order to submit them for my children's financial aid. Since we are filing for divorce shortly, he feels I don't need to know this information. How can I find out if and what was filed?

    You can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.You can also always go online and order your account transcripts.  Here you can see for each tax year, exactly what was filed, any account balances (i.e. outstanding IRS debts), and any wage and income information that the IRS has on file for you.   The website to do that is: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-TranscriptGood...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Curtis (Curt) Sheldon AIF®,CFP®,EA,MBA

    Alexandria, VA

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Taxes

    184 answers

    94 people found Curtis (Curt)'s answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I am fully vested in the startup I work for. I am thinking about executing my options, but want to better understand the tax implications.

    Options are very complicated especially when it comes to taxes.  Talk to a local Enrolled Agent or CPA.  There are many variables that affect the tax bill.  It depends on the type of plan under which you received the options and there could be AMT...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Tanina Linden CFP®,MBA

    Leesburg, VA

    Personal Finance, Investing, Taxes

    26 answers

    9 people found Tanina's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    i have a career in union as an electrician apprentice but there is not a lot of work out there. I am learning to day trade and am thinking about going at it full force and possibly make it a new career. Good idea?

    Congrats on maxing out your 401(K), your practical approach and for thinking of retirement at your age (most people see it as so far off, why bother).  I agree with the 3 answers posted thus far but I would counsel you to look at your whole financial picture.  Do you have an emergency reserve of 6 months of cash in case you lose your job or are injured?  Are you carrying high interest rate credit card debt?After looking into these areas, I would recommend a regular brokerage...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Bonnie Sewell AIF®,CFP®,CDFA

    Leesburg, VA

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    47 answers

    18 people found Bonnie's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    What's the best way to finance expensive dental surgery?

    You mentioned dental procedure which doesn't indicate whether this is required, cosmetic, or must be done right now.  The reason I bring that up is many dentists today sell products and services that go way beyond necessary dental care.If you can postpone because it's cosmetic or elective, that is an option.  If you cannot, then you could look for a no interest credit card to put the expense on and pay off within the term of no interest (often 18 months).  I would avoid GE Care...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Jim Kantowski CFP®,CPA

    Annapolis, MD

    Investing, Retirement, Taxes

    2 answers

    1 person found Jim's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    How can I find the best tax advisor for an entrepreneur?

    It will be helpful to find a tax advisor that is both a CPA and CFP and has experience with small businesses and owners.  As an entrepreneur there are several ways you can minimize taxes and accumulate wealth by implementing the correct retirement plan.  This right plan will depend on the amount of income, number of employees, consistency of income, need for cash, and other factors.  A good CPA/CFP will be able to help determine the right plan for you.  There are additional...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • James Roberts, CFP® CFP®

    Rockville, MD

    Retirement, Personal Finance

    34 answers

    7 people found James's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    My company has a no-match 401k plan and a pension plan (multiplier of 1.75%). What's the right mix for retirement savings? $180K annual income, married, 1 child, mid-30s

    You've provided some useful information here, but not nearly enough.  There are so many questions that need to be answered before any solid advice can be offered.  Some notable questions you need to look into are:p>What is your vesting schedule on the pension account?What is the multiplier begin applied to?  (3 yr avg of highest earning years; 3 yr avg of highest 3 consecutive earning years; etc.)Is your pension account insured by PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)?How...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Paul Meloan CFP®,JD

    Bethesda, MD

    Investing, Personal Finance, Retirement

    4 answers

    3 people found Paul's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    How do I find the correct financial advisor? I am 9 years away from retirement from the Federal Government and I have my TSP in the safest fund earning next to no interest.

    I am going to make some assumptions here that are not in your question, so bear with me.I am assuming that you are not willing to risk losing any of this money, and by "any" I mean not one dollar.  If that is the case, get online and shop for something like a 1 year CD from an FDIC insured institution.  You will be disappointed in the yield. In our current market environment they all suck. Some just suck worse than others.If I change the facts slightly, and say you are willing to risk...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Jean Schwarz CFP®

    Vienna, VA

    Personal Finance, Investing, Taxes

    6 answers

    3 people found Jean's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    What are the advantages of paying cash for a house vs. taking out a mortgage?

    This question is very similar to one I hear from clients regarding whether or not it makes sense to  pay-off a mortgage early, and the answer is, "it depends".  Certainly, there is an economic view which looks at the alternative uses of the cash available to pay-off the loan or purchase the property and the correct answer would be to select the option which provides the biggest net return to the investor - in other words, could you make more after-tax by investing the money? ...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Deb Kriebel CFP®,MBA

    Columbia, MD

    0 answers

    0 people found Deb's answers helpful

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.

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