No More Mr. Nice Guy

nice guy

photo by Andrew Caird


People often tell me that their financial adviser is a “nice guy”, and I think to myself (or say out loud if I’m feeling bold), “He can’t be too nice if he sold you that.”

Please don’t call me a nice guy. Not if nice guys sell people financial products they don’t need. Not if nice guys spend more time learning sales techniques than gaining financial planning knowledge. And not if nice guys charge too much and deliver too little.

You wouldn’t hire an attorney with a great personality if you knew she wouldn’t represent only your interests. And you wouldn’t trust your charming doctor if you knew she was compensated for prescribing you certain drugs. So why would you hire a financial adviser who isn’t required to represent your best interest and may be incentivized to do otherwise?

When it comes to getting financial advice, I encourage you to evaluate potential advisers based on their qualifications, experience, and compensation method. Make sure that whomever you choose acts as a fiduciary who is required to put your best interest first. If he also happens to be a nice guy, that’s icing on the cake.

Choosing a Financial Planner

If you are in search of a financial planner and have found my website, you can rest assured that you are on the right track. But don’t take my word for it. Writers at two of the nation’s most respected periodicals would agree.

In its article How to Find a Financial Planner, The New York Times recommends that its readers research Fee-Only financial planners at and The Wall Street Journal points you to the same organizations in its article, How to Choose a Financial Planner.

Why would both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal recommend that you work with a Fee-Only financial planner? It’s quite simple, really. Fee-Only planners take on a fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interest and do not try to sell you anything other than their professional advice.

You will find Oliver Financial Planning at both and