The investment sector comes with its share of complications that can make it difficult to master personal finance. To make smart investment decisions, you need to understand more than just the basics. Which instrument should you buy? What percentage of your wealth should you allocate to each asset? How big should your portfolio be? Such choices are why most people prefer to get wealth managers. An expert in money management knows how to steer your investments to fulfill specific financial objectives. When you need someone to make the hard judgment calls without getting sentimental, a wealth manager can be responsible for that. But, how do you find the most suitable one to work with?

Code of Ethics

Financial professionals have to be held to high standards because their relationships with clients demand a lot of trust. If you are to leave your financial future in someone else’s hands, you want assurances that they will prioritise your best interests. Evaluate the code of conduct of a financial management firm to learn how the professionals operate. Don’t settle for the sustainability standard; look for a fiduciary that will make decisions that are ideal, not just suitable.

Payment Structure

Before getting into a contract with a wealth manager, ask about the mode of payment. Will you be paying a standing fee or commission? The pay structure can influence how a manager makes investment decisions. A professional who earns fees on a commission may push you to invest in certain assets regardless of whether they are suitable. If you pay a flat charge; say 1%, your advisor may not want you to liquidate your assets even when it’s necessary because it will affect his/her fees. Consider the payment structure that aligns with your portfolio needs. Don’t forget to ask about all the charges accumulated yearly when making these calculations.

Core Competencies

Wealth management firms provide a range of services, and your needs will determine which ones to pay for. Are you just looking for general investment advice or do you want help with your retirement as well? Will you require estate-planning services? Wealth management firm Moneyfarm offers investment guidance, pension and ISAs to its customers. It means that you can have stocks and shares in your portfolio and someone at Moneyfarm will provide the required guidance.

Check the Credentials

Pick a wealth manager with the proper educational qualifications and certifications. Look up the regulations governing wealth managers in a particular region. For instance, are they required to be members of a professional body? A CISI certificate or diploma is an important credential for a wealth manager. An MBA is an added advantage for a financial planner. Be sure to verify all credentials presented by a wealth manager.

Past Performance

Don’t sign up with the first financial management firm you come across just because of it has impressive numbers on paper. Consider the history of the agency. For how long has a wealth manager been working in the industry? What is the success rate? Ask to see portfolios that would match yours and analyse their performances. Note that past returns are not guarantees of similar results, but they give you an idea of how a wealth manager approaches investment decisions.