CHICAGO — The gut-wrenching volatility in the stock market over the past few years has been a tough challenge for busy business owners and professionals. That’s probably why so many are looking for professional help in dealing with investment decisions.
Business for “financial advisers” has been booming since the 2008 market meltdown. The problem is that searching for the right adviser can be almost as difficult as searching for the right stocks.
In most states, anyone can declare himself or herself a financial adviser without the need for a license or any formal credentials, even to the point of creating an official sounding title. At most brokerage firms, employees who used to be called stockbrokers are now called financial consultants or advisers. Whatever they are called, it’s important to remember that they are essentially salesmen who earn their money by getting you to buy and sell equities.