One, is the financial adviser paid through commissions or are they fee-only? That is, do they get a commission when they invest your money in certain mutual funds? Sounds like that could be a conflict of interest, so ask them how they get paid. Many fee-only advisers take a flat monthly fee. Second, are they a certified financial planner? Working with someone who has a "baseline in terms of education and training" is a good idea. And lastly, are they a good fit for you personality-wise? "You should work with someone who you feel comfortable with sharing intimate details of your financial life with," Bera says.
If you're looking for a financial adviser, Bera's part of the XY Planning Network, which can help you find a fee-only CFP to help you get your money right.
Understand that there's risk involved
Stocks and mutual funds go up and down. That's the reality of investing -- you're not always going to make money. That said, hyper-focusing on how your investments are doing is also a mistake. "Don't obsess over it," Bera says. "Let's say you buy stock: once you make a purchase, stop looking at the stock value every day. It's going to make you crazy. People are upset their accounts are down 2% -- it's okay, it's [only] been six months!" Keeping yourself informed is one thing, but tinkering with your investments nonstop is a good way to give yourself a nervous breakdown.