Investing: The Money Trail

Our columnist's search for the right financial adviser yields some valuable lessons

When my moment came, I was like many other people who are offered an early early-retirement package: I hadn't given a moment's thought to retiring. The idea presented many appealing possibilities, however, like taking the long, leisurely trip to Barcelona that I'd been dreaming about. But before I could take that journey, I had to embark on another--a crash course in retirement finances and a quest for an adviser I could trust to help set up my retirement portfolio. My journey was bumpier than expected. And I arrived only after gaining a painful education.

I started at the discount brokerage firm...

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