Listen, if you believed the presidential candidates, you’d think every Wall Street firm hides an army of Bernie Madoff wannabes looking for the next victim to rip off. Well, that’s just rank BS.
But before you hand over your life savings to a broker, do your research. Do you want to invest, trade, or do a combination of both? If you want to invest, make sure your adviser has ideas beyond throwing your money into a mutual fund. You can do that yourself without paying two fees (his and the mutual fund’s). If you want to trade, ask him how current events will affect various stocks.
If he can’t answer the most basic questions, he’s probably not Bernie Madoff but he’s definitely not good at his job. You’d be better off using an online brokerage account and reading the business pages.
Charles Gasparino is a Senior Correspondent at Fox Business Network and a columnist for Men's Fitness. Follow him on Twitter.