Financial advisors are similar in many ways to physicians. You can read online about a lot of sicknesses, symptoms, and home remedies. That might even be all that you need if you just have the sniffles. However, we all agree that self-diagnosis from WebMD is not the best nor most accurate remedy for anything more serious. The same can be said about financial advisors. You can read a lot online about investments and tax implications, but self-diagnosis can often lead to painful and costly mistakes with more complex topics such as retirement planning and college savings. The assumptions you use when planning for retirement or saving for college education have a big impact on the results. Working with a knowledgeable local financial advisor is important when the stakes are high.