How to pick the right professional for you.
People in professional fields know people. If you know a lawyer, he/she knows at least one hundred other lawyers. Lawyers know accountants, accountants know financial planners, financial planners know lawyers, etc.
These days I believe many people take to the internet when looking for services. You will probably use yelp to find a plumber, or a caterer. It is less likely that people utilize the traditional method of “ask a friend.”
The problem is yelp does not know you. Your friends, your colleagues, your attorney even, they know you. They know if you require more attention than most, or if you prefer to be left alone. They know if your weekday schedule is packed but your weekends are free. They know if you're drowning in wealth or living on a budget. Yelp, however, does not know these things about you.
I believe hiring a professional advisor, in any area, is less about hiring “the best” and more about hiring “the best for you.” I encourage friends and clients and friends of friends to meet with other experts before choosing who to make that check out to. It is important that the people advising you on your life know and understand you. Trust needs to be present. Compassion, when required. Needs should be known and expectations should be met.
I don't mean to discount yelp, or any other review sites. The internet is an amazing tool for research and you should do your research. However, don't forget to simply ask around. People love to help people, especially people in “helping professions.” You need a financial planner? I know a smart and savvy woman that can help. You need an accountant? I know one of the best, with more years of experience than I have been alive. You need a plumber? Well, I'm not sure I know a plumber – but I'll be happy to ask around!