πŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈWhen you see AUM fees = run away fast! Run faster than Usain Bolt runs a 100 meter, which is 9.58 seconds.πŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈ

AUM (assets under management) are fees financial advisors charge to "manage" your portfolio. At first glance, the fees seem small like a 2% charge, but what most people don't realize, is that the 2% charge over 40 years adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Compare that to the Vanguard VTSAX fund that you can manage yourself, which charges a much more reasonable 0.05% fee.

So back to the main topic, should you hire a financial advisor? The short answer is no.πŸ™…πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Unlike in medicine, where you should absolutely see a board-certified physician, for financial services, you don't need to. Why? Because advisors can't time the market (noone can because predicting the outcome and stock value of hundreds of companies on a daily basis is just not possible) so their guess is as good as yours. They also don't need to "manage" your own money which you easily can once you get a basic understanding of personal finance, and if not even then, there are roboadvisors (eg Wealthfront) that can automatically manage it for you for very small fees.

And don't even think about hiring an "insurance salesman" as an advisor - that's like hiring a beginner human body artist to do your medical surgery - that's a no-no. You can absolutely manage your own finances as many people have successfully done, and you will also feel empowered after you do so.

Now, if you still feel you absolutely need to hire a financial planner just to double-check everything, hire someone ONLY for their advice and expertise. This is the only type of financial service you should hire. Make sure that the financial planner (not financial advisor), is fee-only fiduciary (not fee-based), is NAPFA certified, and has a CFP degree. You can also look at their Form ADV which is a public informational document they need to file yearly for their fees and returns.

Early in my personal finance journey and after understanding and setting up all of the accounts in this post, because I was so trained to "hire an expert" I still wanted to hire a planner to review everything "just to make sure I did it right" haha. To find someone, I called about 10-12 different fee-only fiduciary planners. And after I explained what I'm looking for and which accounts I have set up, I've had about 10 of them tell me that I don't need help! (By the way, these were only legit fee-only planners, of course if they were scammer types, I'm sure they will tell me I need a lot of help). I ultimately found someone brilliant and nice with a long proven-history on managing 401Ks, and he reviewed everything for 2hrs, then did a video call and a follow-up, charged only a one-time fee, and he just told me that everything was on target and looks good, and that he would personally allocate a little more to bonds to decrease the risk a little bit.

And so that's the most amazing thing - if you have all of these accounts set up that I listed above, you are pretty much set in your personal finance journey - as confirmed by a CFP that I personally vetted and hired to double-check my accounts. So make your goal to be such that GOOD fee-only financial planners tell you, you don't need help! You have it under control.