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Ron Howard: The biggest financial mistake I made was hiring a money manager

If he could do it all over, actor and filmmaker Ron Howard wouldn't use a money manager.

In fact, handing his money over to an adviser was the biggest financial mistake he's made, he said in a recent interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"I'm sure it's the advisers that we chose, but unfortunately we found that it was a zero sum game, more or less," says the director of "A Beautiful Mind," "Apollo 13," and most recently, "Inferno," which opens in theaters Friday.

Ron Howard
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Ron Howard

After all, for investments other than retirement accounts, financial advisers aren't always required to act in your best interest, although that's changing with the new "fiduciary" rule that goes into affect in April.

Those not working to the fiduciary standard are held only to a suitability standard, meaning their advice must be suitable for the clients' financial situation, but is not necessarily in their best interest.

That's not to say you should write off financial advisers completely you'll just want to verify that they're acting as a fiduciary, meaning they have a legal duty to act in your best interest.

As for Howard's strategy, "I found over the years that the best thing I can do is work for a living," he says. When it comes to managing the income he generates, "my wife and I invest very, very conservatively."