Looking for information about picking a financial planner or investment advisor?

I’d like to recommend a good web resource for those seeking information about picking a financial planner or investment advisor: Paladin Registry.

Paladin is an information services company that provides resources and referrals for individual and institutional investors. They provide both articles and seminars for free. They also provide, for free, referrals to high quality financial professionals and firms. If you are looking for help picking an advisor or planner, this is a great place to start.

The reason why is Paladin clearly understands how most investors can get hoodwinked by salespeople who call themselves professionals. The purpose of forming Paladin was to link investors with professionals in the field who are compensated by fees instead of being compensated for selling products.

Watch one of their seminars or read one of their articles and you’ll see what I’m talking about. They are trying to inform investors about what to look for in advisors and planners. And, they’re not pulling punches in describing the way the financial services field operates. You really can get some great information and guidance on how to pick a professional who can help you.

If you do use their service to locate a professional, they don’t link you to just one professional. Instead, they generally provide 3 contacts who can help you. That way, you have alternatives to choose among.

Some full disclosure is in order here. I belong to the Paladin Registry, which means I pay to be a member and they refer qualified investors to me (as well as two other advisors). 90% of the advisors and planners who apply to the registry are turned away because they don’t meet Paladin’s high standards. I prefer to be in such good company, and gladly pay to be a member of this elite organization.

Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, financial, tax, or legal advice. The opinions, estimates and projections contained herein are subject to change without notice. Information throughout this blog has been obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable, but such accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

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A great source for stock research

I’d like to make a quick pitch for a new book I bought this weekend: Morningstar Stocks 500.

First off, I do not follow this guide brainlessly. I find it to be a great way to look at potential investments. It doesn’t cover every investment (only 500, hence the name). Their valuation method is not flawless, but neither is mine. Some of their recommendations and analyses are weak, but overall it’s not too bad.

So, why do I like it? I think it’s a great verification source. I like to use it to scan valuations of companies and to read their take on each business and management. Even when I disagree with them, it’s pretty easy to understand why their take is what it is.

I also think their approach is spot on. First, they look at the economics of a business, its moat. Second, they look at management, what kind of stewards are they for shareholders. Third, they look at valuation, how much is a business worth. This is the same basic approach I use, too, and so I like to read others who take that same approach.

How should this tool be used? Personally, I use it after I’ve already done an evaluation of a potential investment. After I’ve learned about the business, its competitive advantages, its management, its financial reporting, and formed a thorough opinion of all these things myself, I like to look at Morningstar’s take on the business and compare it to mine. Either I get a warm fuzzy because they did things similarly to me, or I can see how they evaluated things differently and I can question my position.

Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, financial, tax, or legal advice. The opinions, estimates and projections contained herein are subject to change without notice. Information throughout this blog has been obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable, but such accuracy cannot be guaranteed.