Some things you need to consider when picking a financial planner


April 19, 1996|By Julius Westheimer

UNWILLING to cope with Wall Street's daily gyrations -- Dow Jones industrial average up 60 points Monday, down 70 Wednesday, up-and-down all day yesterday to a virtual standoff -- some investors may seek longer-term guidance. Suggestions:

"When choosing a financial planner, make sure the person is continuing his or her education," says Personal Finance, April 10. "Also make sure the planner will give references, was not cited for disciplinary reasons and will work up a written analysis of your situation with carefully thought-out recommendations."

The newsletter names organizations you may contact for assistance: Institute of Certified Financial Planners, 800-282-7526; National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, 800-366-2732; and International Association for Financial Planning, 800-945-4237.

START NOW! "If you're going to be ready for the inevitable [Social Security] crisis, you should act now to maximize your enjoyment and safety after retirement," says Black Enterprise, May, in an article entitled, "Design Your Personal Escape Route."

The article adds, "Call Social Security, 800-772-1213, to find out where you stand. The agency will send you forms. Start immediately saving 10 percent of your before-tax income. As time passes, edge savings upward. Consider pushing back your targeted retirement age. If you're under 40, don't count on any retirement benefits at all."

MARYLAND MEMOS: The Candy Kitchen in Frederick is featured in "Dream Jobs" in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, May. ("Blending creamy fillings and dipping them in smooth, warm chocolate.")

Potomac Electric Power, yield 6.3 percent, is listed under "Value Among Utilities" in Dick Davis Income Digest, April 8.

HOLD THAT JOB! "Forget the outdated 'work hard, get promoted' career strategy," says Money, May, adding, "The more 'Yes' answers you give to these questions, the better your chances of holding your job." Samples:

1. Does your job directly boost your company's bottom line?

2. If you lost your job today, could you tap a network of professionals for advice and job leads?

3. Do you play smart office politics by volunteering for projects, getting to know management, etc.?

NOTES & QUOTES: "The average college faculty pay rose 2.9 percent since last school year to $50,980, the first year it topped $50,000." (U.S. News & World Report, April 22.)

"Dividends climbed 10 percent in this year's first quarter vs. 4.6 percent advance for all of 1995. This year we see 6 percent for full year."(S&P Outlook, April 17.)

Harry B. Gorfine Co. will send, free, "Keeping an Eye on Your 401 (k) Plan Account," with a five-point checklist, if you call 410-539-5474.

APRIL SHOWERS: "Everyone should own index funds. They take guesswork from investing by buying same stocks included in some major indexes." (No-Load Investor.)

"Don't buy a stock after it drops, feeling it will bounce back. Many fallen stocks drop even further. Before buying a 'down' stock, evaluate why its price dipped." (Perkins Capital Management.)

Pub Date: 4/19/96

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