28 Jul Two questions to get you started in choosing a wealth management firm
Starting to work with a professional wealth management firm is a process of building trust. Here are two ways to consider getting the right relationship fit with a portfolio manager.
1. Where are you starting, how did you get here and why a wealth management firm?
Most prospects and clients Genus talks to have already started saving or investing in at least one or two ways: GICs, individual stocks or ETFs at an online brokerage, or maybe some bank mutual funds. Some have already found their way to an independent investment management firm like Genus with fiduciary portfolio managers. This backstory is a valuable portfolio of both experience and assets.
- Your investment plan starts by inventorying and talking about what you own and the types of relationships you have had already.
- Timing matters a lot too. A 36-year-old that started out investing at 23 in 2007 right before the global financial crisis had a quite different formative experience than a similar 33-year-old that started in 2010 just before 10 strong years of equity and bond returns. Both can be successful in the future, but understanding your journey’s context is important for you and your new wealth management firm.
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Summary: One of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to your investment portfolio — and one you’re sure to revisit often — is your asset allocation strategy. This involves the strategic placement of your investments in different asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash.
2. What is your communication expectation with your wealth management firm?
The market can create a lot of noise and drama. Behaviourally, investors’ optimal technique is probably to make a solid outsourced plan, then lose their password and check back in 10 years of focusing on career and family! No one really does that, so your manager’s job is to act for you when appropriate and keep you informed on their thinking. Most wealth management firms support a mix of communication cadences from 24/7 access to data and live chat to annual meetings and everything in between. Ask any potential wealth manager how they keep their clients informed to get a sense of whether your expectations are aligned.
At Genus, as a baseline, each client has live updates via the web portal (with password recovery if you forget!) and more formal quarterly reports and annual meetings. Genus also posts frequent video updates from our principals. Each day portfolio managers work to build trusted client relationships one interaction at a time.
We would love to help you take stock of where you are right now, the path that got you here, and to answer your questions about wealth management strategy. At Genus we love helping clients get great results by following a great plan supported by a great relationship.