Questions to ask a potential wealth manager

by Badgley Phelps | Jul 25, 2016

Wealth management is about more than picking stocks—it’s about creating a financial road map specific to your situation that allows you to drive you toward your prioritized goals. It’s about investing in a way that keeps you on the right path. It’s about planning for retirement. For your estate. For your legacy.

And it’s personal.

Finding a wealth manager that fits your style and personality is critical. Ideally, you’ll work with your adviser for years to come, so you want to be comfortable with the individual and the firm he or she represents. Here are several questions to help guide the process:

Questions to ask a potential wealth manager
  • Why is your firm special?
  • What is your wealth management philosophy?
  • What type of investments do you make in your client portfolios?
  • How are your fees structured?
  • Will you provide references?
  • Will you be the one I work with?
Questions to ask yourself
  • Is the potential wealth manager well qualified?
  • Does he/she feel trustworthy?
  • Do I like this person?
  • Do we have chemistry?
  • Does he/she communicate well?
  • Do I feel listened to?
  • Do I understand his/her explanation of fees?
  • Are the range of investments offered broad enough to meet my needs?

When interviewing a potential partner, it’s important to be prepared and stay in control of the conversation. It’s your money, after all. Make sure you are meeting with the adviser or advisers you’ll be working with, not just the sales professionals. Take notes that you can refer to later and be sure to contact one or two of the references provided.

It is also important to find out if you are dealing with a registered investment professional.  Investment advisers and their firms are required to be licensed or registered with federal or state security agencies. This means they must make important information public, including whether the investment adviser has had any disciplinary problems or been in trouble with regulators or other investors. You can check out an investment adviser by going to Also, if the investment adviser is registered with the SEC, be sure to ask for a copy of the firm’s Form ADV which contains important disclosure information about the firm.

Remember that appropriate advice begins with a complete understanding of your financial picture—an adviser who is prepared to dive in without due diligence may ultimately steer you in the wrong direction. Investment options should be broad and match your objective and risk tolerance, and the investment process should be understandable, clearly articulated and flexible. Your life is dynamic and so should be your financial roadmap. The right adviser will help get you where you want to go.

Looking for a wealth manager? Let’s chat.


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