Hiring a wealth management firm can be similar to hiring an employee for your small business. The wealth management firm you choose is ultimately someone you will be trusting with your livelihood, potentially for many years to come. That’s why it’s important to interview them just like you would a potential employee. Here are nine questions to ask to help determine if a wealth management firm is a good fit.
How long have you been working with clients at my level?
Determining the applied experience level of a wealth management firm helps you qualify whether they have the necessary skills required to manage a client like you.
What is your turnover rate with clients?
Your relationship with your wealth manager will ideally be a long-term commitment that extends into your retirement and beyond. If your potential wealth management firm has a high turnover rate, it could be a red flag.
Are you a fiduciary?
Working with a fiduciary guarantee that your wealth management firm will adhere to requirements that any course of action they suggest will benefit you more than it benefits them.
What is your fee structure?
Wealth management firms can employ a variety of different fee structures. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that any wealth management firm you consider has a fee structure you understand and feel comfortable with.
What are my all-in costs?
Asking this question helps you understand precisely how much of your money will go to fees and how much money you’re risking by working with this firm.
How will the relationship work?
Broader questions such as this give you a sense of how much time you’ll spend working with the firm, how much access you’ll have to your advisors, and how fast you’ll receive an answer to a question. Since this relationship will ideally be long-term, it’s essential to ask these questions and determine if you’ll be getting what you expect from the relationship.
What is your investment philosophy?
Questions about investment philosophy ultimately boil down to trust. You need to believe in the vision your wealth management firm has for your assets before you can fully commit to working with them.
What asset allocation and investment benchmarks will you use?
Benchmarks may seem a bit technical for an initial meeting, but they give you a greater sense of how the firm works and how they will communicate with you about how things are going.
How frequently will you update my financial plan?
You want a wealth management firm that always works for you, not one who sets up a financial plan at your first meeting and never looks at it again. That’s why it’s essential to look for a firm that will update your plan quarterly and provide thoughtful answers to each of these questions to ensure a long-term, successful relationship.