If you’re searching for a wealth management firm in Maryland, you have dozens from which to choose.
That can be a daunting task for anyone; however, considering that choosing a wealth management firm may be one of the most important decisions you can ever make, it would be important to know how to find your way around the wealth management landscape.
If you apply these 7 tips when searching for wealth management firms you’ll be able to narrow down your search easily and with confidence.
Are they really “wealth managers?”
If wealth management is truly what you need, you should determine if that is what they provide.
The true wealth management firm of today is charged with coordinating and monitoring a select team of tax, legal, investment, insurance and philanthropic advisors, which requires familiarity with each of these disciplines.
Carefully comb through the pages of their website to see if they offer true wealth management services.
Do your homework
Run a background check on the firm and its principles to see if there have been any disciplinary actions taken. Brokercheck.com offers access to backgrounds on any registered representative.
If they’re registered with the S.E.C. you should be able to download their Form ADV Part 2A and 2B.
This document provides details on the firm’s practice, its compliance history, how they’re compensated and any potential conflicts of interest.
Stick with Fiduciaries
Advisors, who are registered with the S.E.C. as Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), are required, by law, to put the best interests of their clients first.
All other advisors, (non-RIAs) are not held to this standard which opens the door for conflicts of interest that are not usually in your best interest.
Look for Experience and Durability
It would be important to work with a firm that has been around long enough to have experienced different economic and market cycles.
Beyond experience, you need to look for durability.
They may have been around for decades, but, will they be around for the next two or three decades for you?
You should ask about their advisor succession plans to ensure there will be continuity in your service.
Find out how they get paid
You need to know if the firm’s compensation structure is aligned with your best interests.
If the firm receives commissions on products they sell, there’s a potential for conflicts of interest.
If you’re looking for unbiased, objective advice, stick with fee-only advisors.
Find out what you can expect to receive for the fees you pay.
Study their resources
Look for firms that access to a wide range of best-in-class, institutional-quality investment products and services.
Does it have the body of expertise to deal with the complex issues your particular situation might present?
Check out their technology to see if it is state-of-the-art and accessible.
Check out past performance
How does the firm stack up in terms of delivering consistent results for their clients over time?
You should be able to compare their past investment performance with key benchmarks, to see if they have been able to keep pace with global markets.
The best indicator of performance would be the testimony of existing clients.
Ask to speak with several, similarly situated clients, to learn if their expectations have been met.
Know your expectations
In the realm wealth management, value is defined by what you receive from your advisory relationship that meets or exceeds your expectations.
For most clients, it has much less to do with pricing or investment performance, than it has to do with the fulfillment of promises and commitments made at the outset of the relationship.
But the commitments will only have value if they are based on your stated needs and expectations.
Here’s What To Do Now
If you would like more information about how Calvert Investment Counsel can work with you to help you achieve your goals, while relieving you of the burden of trying to figure out what to do.
Give us a call today at 410-435-3270 or click here to schedule your call with one of our wealth managers.