The SEC has published a bulletin on choosing a financial professional to work with.
Tip 1. Do your homework and ask questions.
Tip 2. Find out whether the products and services available are right for you.
Tip 3. Understand how you’ll pay for services and products, and how your financial professional gets paid as well.
Tip 4. Ask about the financial professional’s experience and credentials.
Tip 5. Ask the financial professional if he or she has had a disciplinary history with a government regulator or had customer complaints.
There is more detail in the bulletin, but any Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) should be able to give you straightforward answers to these questions.