Investment is a common part of business. It’s something that a lot of people have opinions about, and a lot of people have heard of, but which a lot of people are also pretty poorly educated on. The problem isn’t that people don’t know where, or how, to invest; there are professionals to help them do that. The problem is that some of the professionals aren’t suited to doing that kind of work–or, more specifically, there are a lot of things in the investment world, and a lot of different paths with different requirements. Not everyone who calls themselves an “investment advisor” can really claim that title.

In some cases, investors can be lead astray by advisors who don’t know the specifics of the kind of investment they’re advising on. In others, they can be deceived by fraudulent advisors who don’t have their best interests at heart. Some of these people are more concerned with lining their own pockets or are actively looking to sell investors on a certain product. Some are legit criminals, seeking to scam investors for everything they’re worth.

Americans in general aren’t that well versed in the world of investment, and that lack of knowledge can make them victims. But that lack of knowledge also means that they don’t have a lot of trust for professionals in “wealth management.” The key to solving both problems is education.

If you’re thinking about investing, you need to do some work of your own before you go find somebody to handle that investment for you. Start by learning the basics about the kinds of investments you can make from a group like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Figure out what might work for you, then make sure you do some research into the people you might work with. A well informed investor is a smart investor.