Financial decisions are some of the most important decisions we all make in our lives. Unfortunately, navigating the landscape of financial 'advisors' is difficult. I use the quote marks when I say advisors because most 'advisors' are nothing more than glorified sales professionals. One easy way to figure out if the 'advisor' you're working with is a sales person or a fiduciary, is to ask them what their licensing is. If the 'advisor' you're working with has their Series 7 license, you are likely speaking with a sales person.
Ideally, your investment professional is a Fee-only advisor and upholds the fiduciary standard on ALL aspects of their relationship with you. Currently the law only mandates that advisors work in the best interest of their clients when working with retirement assets. The good news is that there are other options. Some independent financial planners have specifically aligned themselves with a core set of principles that ensure the client's best interest comes first. Typically, a Certified Financial Planner TM designee will uphold the fiduciary standard, which mandates that the advisor works in the best interest of the client. Be careful who you work with, because it matters.