One of the most important and difficult tasks regarding your financial future is finding the right investment manager. Several factors go into choosing the right investment manager who will provide individualized attention, mitigate risks and align their incentives with your financial goals.

What Type of Investment Professional Do Your Need?

You will want to choose a financial professional based on the key services you need:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Financial Advisor (FA)
  • Portfolio Manager (PM)

Review Regulatory Qualifications

Determine whether the investment manager is a Registered Investment Advisor or Investment Adviser Representative. Make sure that any investment manager you are considering is registered with the proper regulatory authorities. Review their record for any complaints and how long they have worked in finance. You can review the manager’s compliance record with the SEC, FINRA and your state’s Securities Commissioner.

Accessibility of Investment Manager

Will the investment manager be able to understand your financial goals, both in the present and for the future? You will want to choose an expert who will provide you with a personalized investment strategy tailored to your needs, instead of a “cookie-cutter” strategy.

Review the Manager’s Performance

Ask to see about five years’ worth of performance data from prospective investment managers. Look for someone who has been able to outperform their benchmark related to market climate.

Understanding Fees

Make sure to ask how much the investment manager charges for their services. In addition to their management fees, ask about:

  • Trading commissions
  • Performance fees
  • Custody fees
  • Hidden fees

Most importantly, after going through all the above criteria, you will want to make sure that you feel comfortable with whomever has passed your vetting process. This will allow you to make a well-informed decision.