Even though the best financial consultant you could ever hire stares back at you every day when you look in a mirror, for those of you absolutely unwilling to learn how to do-it-yourself, here are ten tips to help you find that one financial consultant out of every 1000 that actually is fairly impressive.

To help me formulate this list, I considered some of the absolutely useless investment strategies I had learned at the world’s leading investment firms as well as the ridiculous focus of some boutique firms I had spoken to when formulating the long tail investment strategies that constitute the curriculum of my SmartKnowledgeU™ campus.

(1) I’m not a fan of managed funds.

I know all about their hidden expenses besides the overt fees they charge, plus I don’t like the fact that a lot of foreign managed funds take a beating whenever the masses have the slightest fear about a pullback in the markets. I think owning individual stocks is a much better strategy, especially in foreign markets. Tell me what your strategy to select individual foreign stocks is.

(2) Look, I’m going to be honest. 6%, 7% even 10% a year doesn’t cut it for me.
What strategies do you personally use to give me a good chance of earning 20% or higher without assuming great risk?

(3) Where do you think will be the best performing markets for the next five years?

(4) This question is a follow-up question to (3).

If the answer to question three was, for example China and India, then ask, How much of my portfolio should be in Chinese and Indian stocks and why?

(5) If answer (4) does not make sense in response to answer (3), probe with more questions.

For example, if the answer your financial consultant tells you is 20% tops, then ask, If you tell me hands down that the best markets for the next five years will be in India and China, why are we only allocating 20% of my portfolio to these markets?

(6) I don’t want the standard diversification strategy applied to my portfolio that you apply to every other client here.

I think it’s a terrible way to build wealth and don’t agree with it. Look at all the great individual investors that were able to build wealth by determining what assets were the best and then concentrating their investments in just a few asset classes.

Even if you tell me ,”Look at Warren Buffet who was a buy and hold buyer”, today we live in different investment times.

The horse and buggy was the best way to get around at one time but not anymore. Investing has changed, and what worked in the past is not the best way to invest today. What are the best asset classes to be invested in for the next five years and why?

(7) What effect will the currency markets have on the best and safest places to invest this year and why?

(8) How are you using technology and the internet to improve portfolio performance for me.

What novel strategies do you use that leverage technology and increased accessibility to top-tier financial, economic, and political information to grant me the best chance of earning stellar returns?

(9) A lot of the best performing markets are emerging markets that also are prone to huge corrections.

How will you safely invest in these markets for me? And remember I don’t like managed funds and I don’t think managed funds are safe either.

(10) Tell me 3 things that you do that no one else does in managing my money.

If you receive intelligent answers to all the above questions, you may have just found yourself a winner.