You’ll be seeing lots of articles on how to find (and keep) your perfect romantic partner around Valentine’s Day. Some of the same principles actually apply to finding a lasting relationship with the right financial advisory firm for you. Read on for some key questions which will help you “speed date” wealth managers.
Finding the right wealth manager can add immense value to both your portfolio and your life in general. Enhanced investment returns, reduced tax bills and the peace of mind that comes from knowing an expert team is looking after the totality of your wealth management needs are all on offer, not to mention significant time savings.
Your shortlisted wealth managers may be similar at a high level, but you’ll need to drill further into the detail to really get the very best match. The good news is that you can streamline this process with some well-aimed questions
The process of identifying good candidates for the role on your own can be very time-consuming, however, particularly in a diverse market like the UK. The difficulty of knowing which firm does what, and at what level of assets, is why findaWEALTHMANAGER.com was launched back in 2012. We make it easy to arrive at a shortlist of providers best matched to your profile and needs so you can compare like for like.
Your shortlisted wealth managers may be similar at a high level, but you’ll need to drill further into the detail to really get the very best match. The good news is that you can streamline this process with some well-aimed questions.
Use our list of talking points and you can approach finding your ideal wealth manager like speed dating. They will give you an excellent sense of whether you want to take things further and provide a foundation for further discussions.
➔ Am I your type?
Ask a potential wealth manager what their typical clients are like in terms of asset base, investment objectives and background.
You don’t have to be exactly the same, but it is helpful to know if they are well-used to dealing with entrepreneurs and their business requirements if this is important to you, for instance.
➔ What is your relationship history?
Two really useful metrics are how long the wealth manager’s client relationships usually last for, and how long their relationship managers typically stay with the firm.
The wealth management sector is fiercely competitive for talent and clients do of course move on, but you should see really high turnover of either clients or personnel as something of a red flag.
The wealth management sector is fiercely competitive for talent and clients do of course move on, but you should see really high turnover of either clients or personnel as something of a red flag
➔ What is your relationship style?
Wealth managers can vary a lot on this front. Some dedicate one relationship manager to a client, while others prefer a team approach.
There is no right or wrong response here, but a potential provider should be able to articulate well why it has chosen one model over another – and how it benefits you as a client.
Speed dating can actually have pretty strong parallels with finding a wealth manager if you follow our process. If you are introduced to a shortlist of providers which are already “good on paper”, your chances of finding an ideal one when you talk further are greatly enhanced – and the process greatly sped up.
Don’t be afraid to pose penetrating questions and maybe throw a few curveballs too. The best providers will have good answers for anything you ask. If you’d like an informal conversation on how to interview wealth managers, please do get in touch.
➔ What can you offer me, in the broadest terms?
You should certainly ask to see typical investment returns over a variety of periods, but prospective wealth managers should also want to talk about diversification and risk management, tax mitigation strategies and other ways they can protect and grow your wealth.
But the value wealth managers can add is far broader than that. Their offering could include business advisory services, Lombard loans or private client mortgages to mention as just things to think about. There could also be a range of perks like client hospitality and concierge schemes on offer too.
➔ What do you expect of me in return?
The biggest question here is what level of assets a wealth manager requires to work with you, but that one is already taken care of if you use our fast and free matching service. Expectations for fees, review meetings and contact generally are other key considerations.
Do not omit to ask about lock-up periods and exit charges. The best wealth managers impose no penalties should you decide to leave, but there are some which do and you should make sure you know where you stand before signing up.
The best wealth managers impose no penalties should you decide to leave, but there are some which do and you should make sure you know where you stand before signing up
➔ Has the firm ever had to end relationships, and how did it go about that if so?
Firms do occasionally change their strategic priorities for a whole host of reasons, not least M&A deals and office closures which can mean they can no longer serve certain clients.
Asking how they have (or would) deal with this scenario is a tough question, but one which can be very revealing. A long notice period, ensuring that clients are not hurt financially in any way and pointing them in the right direction to find another provider are the types of answer you should hear.
Increase your chances of a relationship which lasts
When it comes to managing wealth, the best outcomes are usually the result of durable relationships where a firm and its advisors get to know you and your needs intimately. It is also common to develop very warm relationships over the years and that can be hugely beneficial when discussing very personal hopes and fears around your wealth.
Simply plumping for a word-of-mouth recommendation or a name you’ve seen advertised a lot might work out well, but then again, it might not. Finding a truly optimal match requires some more in-depth comparisons.
Our matching service sifts the market in a matter of minutes to generate factual matches, allowing you to focus on the more subjective factors when comparing them side by side.
In wealth management, as with love, finding your perfect match can feel like quite a task, so leverage every tool available to help get you there.
The investment strategy and financial planning explanations of this piece are for informational purposes only, may represent only one view, and are not intended in any way as financial or investment advice. Any comment on specific securities should not be interpreted as investment research or advice, solicitation or recommendations to buy or sell a particular security.
We always advise consultation with a professional before making any investment and financial planning decisions.
Always remember that investing involves risk and the value of investments may fall as well as rise. Past performance should not be seen as a guarantee of future returns.