When you hear the term, “investment” a lot of people bring to mind quick ways to buy and sell stocks to make a large sum of money. In reality, that’s not how investing works (and isn’t a smart way to go about it).
If you’re looking to build wealth and make beneficial investments for your future, one of the best things you can do is find a trusted financial advisor and investment manager to help guide your way. But, how do you find someone who you can trust with such a valuable asset? Ask questions.
Whether you’re new to investing and wealth management or a seasoned investor looking for a new partner, knowing what questions to ask can help you find a trusted advisor who has your best interests in mind. After all, it’s your money at stake.
Here are some questions to ask when searching for a wealth management firm, courtesy of the SEC.
Questions about products
Whether you’re investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other products, make sure you fully understand what that investment means to you. Here’s some questions to ask about investment products:
- Is this investment product registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and my state securities agency?
- How does this investment make money? Dividends, interest, capital gains?
- What are the fees to purchase, maintain, and sell this investment?
- How liquid is this investment?
- What are the risks associated with this investment?
- Where can I get more information about this investment?
Questions about wealth management professionals
In addition to understanding the types of investments you may get into, it’s important to vet the people who are managing your wealth and purchasing your investments. Here’s some questions to ask wealth managers:
- Are you registered with our state securities regulator? Have you ever been disciplined by the SEC, a state regulator, or other organization (such as FINRA) or one of the stock exchanges)?
- How long has your firm been in business?
- What experience do you have? How long have you been in the business?
- Have you personally been involved in any arbitration cases? What happened?
- What is your investment philosophy?
- Describe your typical client.
- How do you get paid?
Questions about your investments
- Does this investment match my goals?
- How frequently do I get statements?
- Is the return on my investment meeting my goals? Is this investment performing as I was led to believe?
- How much am I paying in commission or fees?
- How much money will I get if I sell this investment today?
- My goals have changed. Do my current investments still align with my new goals?
Navigating the complex world of wealth management and investing can be overwhelming. We take our time to work with you to understand your goals and help you decide on which investments are right for you. We pride ourselves on being trusted partners and make sure you understand your investments before you purchase. No matter who you choose to manage your wealth, make sure you ask diligent questions and they are honest and transparent with you. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to get to know us better, give us a call.