How to pick a financial adviser

Choose someone you understand

Using financial jargon that’s over your head isn’t a sign of a good adviser.

"You will be making some of the most important decisions in your life and most likely the lives of your family," says Gary M. Shor, a CFP and vice president of financial and estate planning for AEPG Wealth Strategies in Warren, N.J. "If you do not understand what you are reviewing, discussing or getting advised on, you have the wrong adviser."

You shouldn’t feel intimidated or feel afraid to ask questions.

"Some areas can be very complex, but a good adviser will be able to frame the discussion in words and context that the client can comprehend," Shor says.

If you understand your adviser, you will make better decisions together, especially during turbulent times like major life events or significant market shifts.

Also, make sure you're comfortable discussing every aspect of your life that affects your financial situation. That includes your personal history, medical history and family matters. Furthermore, you have to be able to share your fears and your desires without feeling judged.