In the greater Seattle metropolitan area, there are thousands of investment and wealth managers. In fact, if you Google “Seattle investment management,” you’ll get more than 4 million search results. With so many options, how do you choose an investment management firm that is right for you? Do you visit the firm’s website, call and ask questions, or do you ask friends for referrals? Hopefully, you do all three. But there’s more you can do.
Here are some questions to ask when selecting an investment manager:
- Find out how your investment adviser is compensated for his or her services. Is it fee based or commission based? Fee based services can be paid for at a flat rate or as a percentage of assets. Commission based services are paid based on the products and services you purchase.
- Is the firm tied to investments, products and services from a single company, or does the prospective wealth manager represent multiple companies? In other words, what type of flexibility do you have in terms of investment vehicles? Do you have to use one company’s options, or can you mix and match?
- What is the adviser’s fiduciary responsible? This is important because Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) like the wealth managers at Synergetic Finance have a fiduciary responsibility to give you the best advice options for your situation, not just options that are suitable.
- Who manages the firm’s portfolio of assets? Does the firm do it directly, or is there a middle man involved? How often are your assets reviewed?
- How often will the adviser meet with you to discuss your portfolio, review your current financial situation and discuss possible changes? Does the adviser initiate these discussions, or do you have to be proactive?
- How long does it take for the prospective wealth manager to reply to your email or return a phone call? In other words, what kind of service can you expect?
- Is the firm so large that you are just one tiny fish in an ocean of clients? Or is the firm smaller in size so that the advisers know you by name and care about your individual and business goals and investments?
If you are satisfied with a prospective firm’s answers to all of these questions, congratulations! You’ve found a match. If not, give Synergy Finance a call or fill out the contact form on our website. Synergy is big enough and experienced enough to be able to handle all of your financial needs, but small enough to give you the personalized service you deserve.
You work hard for your money, and so should your adviser.
To your wealth and success,
Joe Maas, CFA, AVA, CFP®, ChFC, CLU®, MSFS, CCIM
President of Synergetic Finance