Key wealth management concerns for 2012

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:03am EST
 
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By John F. Wasik

(Reuters) - You won't get too many arguments at holiday parties if you say that 2011 has been one of the most challenging years for investors.

With the European crisis unresolved and major bi-polar dysfunction in Washington, it's never been more difficult to plan ahead. Yet there are always core wealth management concerns that you need to address.

Here are some that I think are key.

DO YOU TRUST YOUR ADVISER?

Under pressure from the brokerage and insurance industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reconsidering a proposal to make all advisers fiduciaries.

A new standard will be released next year, although it may be highly diluted. In the interim, seek out an adviser such as a fee-only certified financial planner, certified public accountant or chartered financial analyst who acts as a fiduciary.

That means they have to put your interests above their own. They should not make a commission on what they recommend, and they should put your needs first. Read their ADV Forms (Part II) to see how they make their money. They should clearly disclose any conflicts.

HAVE YOU PREPARED FOR "SYSTEMIC" RISK?   Continued...