I’m 65 and semi-retired, having amassed $1.8 million myself with “lots of risky small caps,” tech stocks, and a few ETFs. I also have 20% cash. Am I doing it right? Do I need a consultant for help?


How to find the right financial advisor for you.

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Question: I have always been a self-directed investor, although I have sought advice from time to time. I lean toward a lot of risky small caps along with a core of Google, Amazon, and Apple, as well as some ETFs. And for the most part they did very well, retiring at age 58. I have about 25% in some smaller high-beta companies, mostly from Motley Fool recommendations. I also have 20% in cash, which didn’t bother me too much, but with high inflation that worries me a bit. I’m now 65 and semi-retired, earning a little money as a freelance graphic designer and musician. (Looking for a financial advisor too? You can use this tool to match you with an advisor who can meet your needs.)

I would like to get a review/second opinion once or twice a year without paying an advisor an ongoing fee based on assets. With combined portfolios of about $1.8 million, I hate the idea of ​​paying 1% or $18,000 for an expensive advisor to plug my variables into an app and roll out an algorithmic asset allocation dressed up as a customized financial plan. Instead, I would rather pay an hourly or flat fee for specific advice on how to strengthen my financial position. Suggestions on how to find a compatible advisor are welcome.

Answer: Congratulations on your success as a self-directed investor! And you’re right, it would be a waste of your time and money to have a financial advisor gather your documents, plug in numbers and read you the bottom line. “It sounds like you’re looking for an advisor who can double-check to make sure you’re on the right track and there aren’t any foreseeable roadblocks in your way,” says Certified Financial Advisor Danielle Miura of Spark Financials.

“To find a compatible advisor, you’ll want to look for someone who is just for advice and won’t seek to manage your investments. Instead, they’ll charge hourly or a flat rate for a time-limited commitment,” says Kaleb Paddock, certified financial planner at Ten Talents Financial Planning. The value of this type of relationship is that the advisor will help you with tax planning, insurance planning, estate and beneficiary planning, health care planning and more, Paddock explains.

Having a problem with your financial advisor or looking to hire a new one? Email picks@marketwatch.com.

“You can find an adviser using the XY Planning Network, NAPFA or Fee-Only Network, and look for advice-only advisers through these trusted networks,” says Paddock. If you can’t tell from their websites how they get paid, you can call and ask if they have hourly or project-based fees that fit your needs. Depending on where you are located and how complex your situation is, you can probably expect to pay between $200 and $500 per hour, or anywhere from $1,000 to $7,500 for project-based engagements. You can use this tool to match you with an advisor who can meet your needs.

“When looking for an advisor to work with, ask them what they will offer you beyond your investments. You can ask, based on the information you’ve provided, what they think are the most important topics to cover together. If there’s something specific you’d like to work on, ask the consultant if they can tell you a story about how they’ve worked with clients on that issue in the past,” says Miura. And be sure to ask these 15 questions of any consultant you may hire.

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