How do you decide whom to trust with your money?

Bernard Madoff gets 150 years for swindling people out of their savings. Regulators in Minnesota close a Pine City bank. It’s clear that, these days, small savers and investors need to watch out. How do you decide whom to trust with your money?

I have a broker whom I’ve known for 30 years. Even so, I do not put all my wealth into accounts he services. I put restrictions on any trading, which require my approval. I self manage about 50% of my wealth and the other 50% I utilize a wealth management expert. -Lee Stastny, Plymouth, MN

Institutions that have stood the test of time -who have time and again done the right thing even when no one’s watching. As someone who has worked in the financial services industry for seven years the mutual insurers have stood out for me as the institutions who can be trusted the most. These companies are owned by directly by policyholders as opposed to stockholder (wall street). -Ashish Tomar, Edina, MN

With banks failing and the FDIC needind a bailout last September and still short funded the insurance companies of the country seem to be the best bet. No investor has ever not been paid by these companies as they usually have stong reserves and in Minnesota many products are backed also by the Minnesota Life and Health Guaranty Association Law. At the end of the day they remain strong because they are forced to adhere to sound economic principle and audits. -Robert Ward, Grand Rapids, MN

It doesn’t matter — just don’t trust the same one person with ALL of your money. -Bill, St. Paul, MN

I’ve been in the financial services and life insurance for the past 29 years. Free enterprise and open societies are build on trust and confidence with open and honest exchange of products and services between individuals. Without both trust and confidence between and among individuals and enterprises no society or economy is healthy and sustainable. The Good Life is not built on fear and greed, but is successful when everyone is empowered to participate in a free market. Growth alone, however, is no guarantee that a lifestyle, and community is sustainable. Our economy is only as healthy and prosperous and our most vulnerable citizens. -Bob Sixta, Rochester, MN

I am the guy that people need to trust with their money. My advice is threefold: recommendation, currrent recognized designation, FINRA licensed representative status. -Rick Dworsky, St. Louis Park, MN