Home > Store

Who Can you Trust with Your Money?

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Who Can you Trust with Your Money?


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale

eBook (Watermarked)

  • Your Price: $15.99
  • List Price: $19.99
  • Includes EPUB, MOBI, and PDF
  • About eBook Formats
  • This eBook includes the following formats, accessible from your Account page after purchase:

    ePub EPUB The open industry format known for its reflowable content and usability on supported mobile devices.

    MOBI MOBI The eBook format compatible with the Amazon Kindle and Amazon Kindle applications.

    Adobe Reader PDF The popular standard, used most often with the free Adobe® Reader® software.

    This eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.



Tips to empower yourself, get the most benefit from a financial advisor and spot the warning signs of a crooked advisor 

  • For anyone looking to hire financial help for the first time or who is already using an advisor.
  • Filled with specific tips on how to protect yourself from potentially crooked advisors.
  • Authored by someone who has dedicated herself to preventing financial fraud after being victimized herself by her ex-husband's Ponzi scheme, which resulted in tens of millions of dollars in losses.


  • Copyright 2010
  • Dimensions: 5-3/8" x 8-1/4"
  • Pages: 224
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-703365-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-703365-2

“ Bonnie Kirchner is perhaps the only person in America who is qualified enough to write this book. She has the experience, the firsthand knowledge, and the credibility to help you find a personal financial advisor you can trust. In ways no other author could, she helps you navigate the oftentimes treacherous world of personal financial advice and helps you learn how to find someone you can trust with your money, your financial plan, and your life’s goals.”

Robert Powell, Editor, Retirement Weekly; Retirement Columnist, MarketWatch.com/retirement

“ This book is a must read for those consumers thinking about hiring a financial advisor and for those who have one already. Bonnie shares her personal story so that you can be protected from the scammers and the thieves that seem to lurk in the shadows. 99% of financial advisors are the good guys that wear the white hats and really want to help their clients succeed. Bonnie can help you sift through the masses to weed out that bad seed.”

Dee Lee, CFP®, Harvard Financial Educators and Personal Finance Editor, WBZ radio–CBS affiliate, Boston

“ The two biggest risks to your financial well-being are not the markets and the economy; they are fraud and bad advice. The author shares her personal story of how this can happen even with those we trust the most. More importantly, she gives you the knowledge of what financial planning is all about and then how to steer clear of potential fraud or just plain bad advisors!”

Dave Caruso, CFP®, Chairman and CEO, Coastal Capital Group

Is Your Financial Advisor Stealing From You?

If it could happen to Bernie Madoff’s clients, it could happen to you. Make sure it doesn’t. Bonnie Kirchner reveals the hidden signs that could mean you’re getting ripped off–and what to do about it if you are. You’ll also learn how to identify a truly reputable advisor and build a relationship that gives you your money’s worth. Nobody’s more qualified than Kirchner to write this book. She’s a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who was one of New England’s leading TV personal finance reporters. And, as the unwitting victim of her ex-husband, notorious Ponzi schemer Brad Bleidt, she found her own life ripped apart by one of the nation’s biggest financial scandals. Since divorcing Bleidt, she’s devoted herself to understanding exactly how financial scammers operate. This book shares everything she learned the hard way–so you won’t have to!

• Choose a capable advisor you can trust

• Ask the right questions; check the right details

• Build a successful relationship with your advisor

• Recognize minor discrepancies that may mean something is very wrong

• Protect yourself if you learn you are being ripped off

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

What Is Financial Planning?

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 2 and Index)

Table of Contents

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii

About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii

Chapter 1 Recent Investment Scams . . . 1

Bradford C. Bleidt . . . 1

Bernard Madoff . . . 8

Chapter 2 What Is Financial Planning? . . . 15

Chapter 3 The Meaning Behind Advisor Designations and Licenses . . . 21

Chapter 4 Advisor Compensation . . . 31

Chapter 5 Deciphering Fee Structures . . . 35

Portfolio Development and Asset Management . . . 35

Financial Planning . . . 36

Stocks, Bonds, and Exchange Traded Funds . . . 36

Mutual Funds . . . 37

Variable Annuities . . . 39

Indexed Annuities . . . 41

Insurance . . . 41

Chapter 6 Finding Additional Fees . . . 43

Managed and/or Brokerage . . . 43

Variable Annuities . . . 44

Mutual Funds . . . 45

Exchange Traded Funds and Index Funds . . . 46

Chapter 7 Financial Products and Advisor Compensation . . . 47

Investment-Related . . . 48

Insurance Coverage . . . 49

Financial Planning . . . 50

Chapter 8 Statements, Communications, and the “Dreaded” Prospectus . . . 51

Statements . . . 51

Prospectuses—Mutual and Exchange Traded Funds . . . 53

Shareholder Updates and Annual Reports . . . 55

Prospectuses—Variable Annuities . . . 56

Standard Charges (on Most Contracts) . . . 56

Rider Electives . . . 57

Proxy Materials . . . 57

Chapter 9 The Roles of Various Financial Institutions . . . 59

Investments in Insurance Products . . . 61

Investment Management and Investment Product Sales . . . 63

The Broker/Dealer . . . 63

The Custodian . . . 64

The Federal Deposit Insurance Company . . . 65

The Securities Investment Protection Corporation (SIPC) . . . 66

Chapter 10 Understanding What You Need . . . 67

Chapter 11 Choosing Advisors to Consider . . . 77

Chapter 12 Choosing Candidates to Interview . . . 81

Chapter 13 Interviewing Candidates . . . 85

Preparing for the Meeting . . . 85

During the Meeting . . . 92

After the Meeting . . . 97

Chapter 14 Spotting Red Flags: Advisors to Avoid . . . 101

The Name and Information Gathering Phase . . . 101

During the Meeting . . . 104

After the Meeting . . . 106

Advisors to Avoid . . . 107

Chapter 15 The Rules of Engagement . . . 111

Chapter 16 Maintenance of the Advisor–Client Relationship . . . 127

Chapter 17 Activity . . . 131

Chapter 18 Accessibility . . . 135

Chapter 19 The Dysfunctional Relationship . . . 137

Chapter 20 Criminal Versus Non-Criminal Behavior . . . 143

Chapter 21 Filing a Complaint . . . 149

Appendix A Consumer Resources . . . 155

Credit Ratings Agencies . . . 163

Appendix B Glossary . . . 167

Index . . . 187


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020