Financial planner/advisor for large sum of money?

In the near future, I am going to come into a large sum of money from the sale of a property in Berkeley.  The money will be split in three between my siblings and me. I am a single mother in need of someone to help advise me on what to do with the money.  I am not in the position to outright purchase the property myself, nor do I want to.  I was thinking of either putting it into a trust for my child and or purchasing property elsewhere.  I am not interested in investing.  Would this be a financial planner or advisor?  Who would you recommend?

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I would recommend Valerie Sydnor @ (610) 906-6725. She has been a tremendous support in helping me navigate money investment decisions. 

Hi there.  Planner and advisor are sometimes interchangeable titles. What's most important is ensuring that whoever you choose is indeed a fiduciary (they have a legal obligation to act exclusively in their client's interest.  They should confirm this in writing for you and they should also clarify whether either they or their firm receive any other forms of compensation beyond client fees.  They should very happily and without equivocation answer that question clearly, simply and in writing.   There are lots of "Advisors" who are not fiduciaries.  And even some who are "fiduciaries" still receive their salaries from companies that have no fiduciary duty to the client, creating some very awkward, sleazy power dynamics.  

Advisors who act as true fiduciaries typically are compensated in one of three ways: 

1) an hourly or project fee for a defined task (helping you create a financial plan for your household, or helping you figure out what to do with a certain windfall or inheritance)

2) an annual management fee based on the amount of funds you're asking them to manage for you.  This tends to be for larger portfolios ($500k and up).  In exchange for that management fee, you meet with them whenever needed and can reach out with questions/needs along the way.  And in theory, the 1% or 2% fee they charge for managing assets is more than made up for with the advice and value they're able to add.  

Probably the place to begin for you is hiring a planner/advisor to assess where you're at now, set some goals and strategies for the next few years (or for retirement) and simultaneously within that picture, help you determine how best to manage these new funds in order to minimize your tax burden, mitigate risk and earn a return that at the very least keeps up with inflation -- and hopefully a good bit better.  

Hope that's helpful.


Based on what you're describing, you might look for someone who charges some kind of hourly fee or has a set fee for a small engagement to help you come up with an initial plan.  

For broad financial planning, look for a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Since you aren't interested in investment management, look for one who charges by the plan or by the hour (this is less common than one that charges a percent of assets under management, but that only works if you want them to manage your assets, and if you have enough assets to interest them). The CFP certification board had a website that has a CFP finder (

If you’re dead set against investing than you don’t need a planner or an advisor. If you want to put it in a trust, get a lawyer and create one. Most funds within a trust ARE in investments. If you want to invest in property, then get referrals for real estate investment. 
If it were me, I’d want to see ALL of my options and chose the best one. I’ve posted about Nini Yang (408-464-7563) before. She’s my advisor and has tax and investment licenses. She’s also vetted real estate investment options. 

Financial planner’s help you invest and see the course of your money build over time, but an advisor helps you understand what you can do with the money you now have and may also give suggestions about investments. They are similar roles but advisors might be a better route for your case.