What to Look for in a Wealth Management Firm

Choosing a professional service for investment advice and to help you manage your finances is an important decision. Here’s what to look for in a wealth management firm.

Do Your Homework

Your financial future is determined by the choices you make today, in terms of smart investment strategies and the growth of your assets. When selecting from among the top wealth management firms, do your homework and find out if the firm can provide the stewardship and wealth management advisors you need. Get referrals from family and friends, if necessary, for information about the best wealth management firms, states USA Today. You’ll also want to find out where the firm focuses its interest, whether in insurance, lending or solely on wealth management, advises Forbes.

How Is the Firm Structured?

Not all wealth management firms are structured the same. If you’re expecting a lot of in-person interaction, find out if that’s what the firm offers, states Forbes. The number of accounts your advisor handles is another key piece of information to ask about. You’ll benefit by finding an advisor who can help you meet your long-term goals, even if you’re primarily seeking tax advice today, for example, since later on you may need additional services, advises USA Today.

The Scope of Your Financial Needs

Understand that there’s a difference between investment management and wealth management. With investment management, you’re seeking to grow your portfolio and other assets. However, wealth management often has a wider scope that also includes wealth preservation and wealth transfer to the next generation. Find out if the firm has a focus in one area or the other, depending on your needs, states Forbes.

How Will the Firm Invest Your Money?

Determine if the firm leans more toward investing with mutual funds or individual securities, and if it’ll make investments on your behalf that are individually customized, advises Forbes. Also, find out about the firm’s track record in terms of investing and if the firm is privately or publicly held as this plays a role in its investment strategies, states Forbes.

What Service Will You Receive Long-Term?

Your wealth management needs may change a few years down the road, so it’s important to consider the range of services the firm offers. Perhaps today you’re more interested in traditional investing, but in 10 years, you may need to put assets in trust or elsewhere, states Forbes. Arrange an interview and ask the financial advisor questions, including regarding compensation and wealth management charges, states USA Today. Most importantly, you’ll want to get a sense of whether the firm feels like a good match for you, advises Forbes. Do you feel optimistic and confident that the advisor will help you meet your financial goals? This is perhaps the most important question to consider when choosing a firm to manage your wealth.