What is the proper portfolio construction and which account structures should you use? Your goals will determine the path you take to make your investments work for you. It is truly different for everybody.
Maintain a fiduciary standard. A fiduciary is required by law to give advice that is in the best interest of the client without any regard to financial compensation. Independent Financial Planning's service always has been and always will be about putting the client first. Whether or not your advisor is a fiduciary in many cases depends on the kinds of products they are selling and their employment. For instance, fee-based or fee-only advisors are often acting with the duty of a fiduciary. Whereas a commission-based advisor or insurance-based advisor are mostly not acting as a fiduciary. Additionally, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals abide by the fiduciary standard of conduct in regard to financial planning or the material elements of financial planning.
My investing philosophy is consistent with the concepts of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) that a collection of diversified investments with different characteristics and performance profiles will provide the optimal portfolio. This means that for each individual your portfolio will be unique to your needs and goals but every portfolio will be diversified. In some instances this includes investments outside of the traditional stocks and bonds to seek a truly different kind of opportunity set. In other cases clients can achieve diversification within the traditional investment universe. One feature all of my clients will have in their portfolios is global exposure. I recommend any investor consider these two things, 1) invest for the long run and 2) be diversified.