Get a good advisor
There are two ways to invest wisely. The first is to hire a knowledgeable independent financial advisor who does not get a commission on your investments. These are called fee-only advisors. It is highly recommended to use only an advisor who works for you, who is not a salesman, and who gets paid hourly. In the long run this will cost you less money and insure that your advisor is working for your interests. To learn more about fee-only advisors see: http://www.napfa.org/ .
Remember however that when you rely entirely or mostly on someone else to manage your investments there are risks. As a general rule no one manages your money as carefully as you will. Like any professional you will want to learn as much as you can about him, his training, background, references, etc. You will want to interview him, ask many questions, and only agree to work with him if you are comfortable with him and confident.
Benefits of a good advisor: they will know more than you are likely to ever know about good investment strategies and will be in a good position to invest and manage large portfolios.
Risks of an advisor: they are not investing their money; they are investing your money. There are always risks to allowing someone else to do this. Advisors can be wrong and can lose a lot of your money in the process. In some instances they can be dishonest.
Do it yourself
For most people with less than a million dollars to invest and manage however it may be far better to learn how to manage the investments yourself. A highly recommend you obtain and read a small book, The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read by Daniel R. Solin. This as well as Solin’s other books will provide you with a good foundation to invest wisely. Solin’s advice is to invest conservatively and for the long term. This is still the best way to do it. Keep reading and learning about wise investing.
Benefits of doing it yourself: you will be more careful investing your own money, or you should be. You will not cheat yourself. The more you learn about investing the better job you can do.
Risks of doing it yourself: this is a complex field. It is risky. You can make mistakes too and you can lose. If you have a lot of money to invest you may not have the time or expertise to manage it most effectively.
In the end you must decide what is best for you. Whether you depend on someone else to do most of the work or you do it yourself you must keep yourself informed on how your money is invested, how well it is doing and what risks you face.
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.