How to Find the Right Financial Adviser for You and Your Money

Financial advisers come in a confusing array of professional designations, with different fee structures and areas of expertise.

Businesswoman Working Using Laptop In Coffee Shop
(Image credit: monkeybusinessimages)

Americans aren’t making the grade when it comes to managing their finances—or at least they don’t think they are. On average, U.S. households give themselves a C+ on their ability to save for long-term goals, such as college and retirement, and a B for shorter-term responsibilities, such as paying bills and budgeting, according to a survey from financial technology company Fiserv. And nearly half of U.S. households say that they have no one to rely on for financial advice.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.