It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to professionals for help in preparing their financial future. The problem becomes a question of who do you actually turn to for such advice.   Manarin Investment Counsel based in Omaha, Nebraska, is an independent investment advisory firm offering professional financial planning and investment management services to small businesses, families, and individuals. Founded in 1983 by Roland Manarin, who immigrated to Omaha from northern Italy at the age of 10, it is an independent, fee-based investment advisor registered with the SEC. Manarin has some 30 years of experience working as a professional in investment management.   He says that he educates the public in a variety of ways including a Wealth-Building Seminar Series, which he has presented since 1977 teaching investors to ignore conventional wisdom and practice true wealth-building strategies,a weekly radio talk show, "It’s Your Money," that he hosts, and a quarterly newsletter -- not to mention numerous lectures around the country.   In 2004, he was named one of "America's Best Wealth Advisors" by Barron's and in 2005 was selected as a keynote speaker for the "Excellence in Financial Planning Conference."   Manarin feels there is a basic question the vast majority of Americans face: Do you ‘go it alone’ when it comes to planning your financial future, investments, and savings plans; or do you get the help of an ‘expert’ to guide you through the process and ensure you get the most bang for your buck? “Increasingly, most of us choose to seek professional help. But to whom do you turn to and trust?  There are five essential facts one needs to know before hiring a financial professional.”

A good financial professional will have their bacon cooking with yours. Manarin says that if they feel strongly about an investment, they should have their own money there.   Most financial professionals give advice slanted against true wealth-building principles. Manarin points out that most offer advice that is simply a repetition of what they’ve been taught. “Successful long-term investment advice is not a “shoot from the hip” proposition. A sound understanding of the big picture–taking into account your personal goals and not the agenda of the financial professional–is essential.”     Not all financial professionals are good investors. Most often, he explains, they make their money by selling you something; not by being successful investors themselves.   Be aware of big-name firm representatives. Again, according to Manarin, most often, the big name firms only allow their salespeople to sell you products that the firm puts on its shelf. “You want someone who can offer you anything on the planet.”   Ignore salespeople; look for teachers. He says that when considering a financial professional, ask yourself, is this person trying to teach me something or trying to sell me something? “The majority of financial professionals sell you what you buy based on your greed and fear. Look for someone who is willing to teach you, regardless of whether you invest with them or not.”

He concludes by noting that in selecting investments for clients, he uses a moon-to-earth approach. “Mentally, we stand on the moon and look down on the Earth as it spins, attempting to seek out the best opportunities we can find throughout the world.”

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