How to Pick a Financial Adviser

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My husband and I recently took advantage of a free consultation with a personal financial adviser at Vanguard, where we hold a big chunk of our investment accounts. After filling out a detailed financial profile—listing such things as assets (both in and out of Vanguard), liabilities, projected retirement dates, and income from pensions and Social Security—we scheduled a conference call with a certified financial planner. The call lasted for about 45 minutes, during which the three of us discussed elements of our profile and our financial goals.

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.