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Good references are key in the search for a financial adviser

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Keep looking until you find someone you are comfortable with. It’s that important.

So what is the first step?

“This industry is totally word of mouth,” says Carla Dearing, chief executive of SUM180, an online financial planning service for women. “Talk to your tennis partners, your colleagues at work. Find the person affiliated with your bank.”

Your church is another resource, she says. Ministers often refer members of their churches to planners when they need financial guidance.

“Start with friends and relatives,” says Theodore R. Daniels, founder of the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development in Alexandria. “A lot of practices are based on referrals and relationships. But if you don’t have those, look to the CFP Board of Standards. They have a website where you can enter where you live, and they will let you know a list of financial advisers in your area.”

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