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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

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Accountant Adviser

originally posted: 11/22/2006  revised: 11/29/2010

Q: Is a financial planner who is also an accountant better than just a financial adviser who works with investments?

A: It is hazzardous making generalizations and stereotypes as to which is "better" but it seems fair to say that fee-based accountants as a group tend to have a better reputation with clients for handing broad-based planning issues that are not related to financial products and transactions. This helps when tax planning or business strategies are a significant part of the advice you seek.

Because accountants may have more sources of income (time-based fees in addition to transaction or asset-based fees), accountants may be more likely to avoid the production pressures faced by advisers who sell insurance or investments. On the flip side, accountants we've known tend to be weaker on the technical details of financial products and transactions than those adviser who handle only financial products.

FFortunately most firms include both accountant/advisers as well as those who specialize in handling transactions on their staff. 

Time-based service may be best when seeking financial advice not related to financial transactions.

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