Selecting a financial advisor or wealth manager can be a difficult task. Your financial situation is complex and trusting someone with your money is trusting someone with your future. That is not a job we take lightly. Ultimately, mutual trust is the key to a successful relationship between you and your advisor. It is important that your financial advisor truly knows your life, your family, your goals and anything else that makes you, you.
This is because successful wealth management extends beyond investment advice and asset management. A truly comprehensive financial advisor will look at the big picture and bring all of the various pieces that affect your financial situation together to create a plan that is stress-tested and unique to you, that helps ensure you are confident in the potential of your financial future. Your advisor will work with you to coordinate and unify the decisions in your financial life, so that those decisions complement each other and strive to produce enhanced results.
A Holistic Approach
The essential components of a holistic approach to financial advising include, but are not limited to, tax reduction strategies, milestone planning (whether your milestones are retirement, travel, buying your first home, etc.), risk reduction and wealth preservation, as well as estate planning and legacy goals.
At Virtus Wealth Management, we want you to feel educated, empowered, and involved in the planning of your financial future. Our goal is to help you get from where you are today to where you want to be in the future, but we believe this can only be accomplished through mutual participation and limiting our clientele to those willing to be involved in the process.
If you are seeking a financial advisor, we want to invite you in to our office for a complimentary consultation so you have the opportunity to get a better understanding of who we are and what we can do to help you and your specific situation.
Below you will find important considerations and questions to assist you in finding a financial advisor best-suited to your needs. As in most cases, there are some “red flags” to be aware of when speaking with a financial advisor. These red flags do not necessarily mean that the financial advisor is unqualified or lacks integrity, but will help you determine if your goals are going to be the priority.
- Do you provide a comprehensive written analysis and personalized plan to address my financial situation? In addition, do you offer assistance with the implementation of this plan and continuous, on-going advice regarding my financial affairs, including advice on non-investment related financial issues? Financial professionals provide a range of services and it is important to match your needs with the services provided.
- Do you provide a holistic/comprehensive approach to wealth management that includes all of the following services: Goal Setting, Budgeting, Tax Planning, Investment Review and Planning, Estate Planning, Insurance Needs, Education Funding, Retirement Planning, and/or more?
- How is your firm compensated and how is your compensation calculated? This is key to ensure you are comparing apples to apples: a 1% fee for just money management is not equivalent to a 1% fee for money management in addition to tax reduction strategies, estate planning, milestone planning, etc. There are many hidden fees in our industry and a fee trap: avoid focusing solely on who has the lowest fee without factoring in service and performance.
- Will I work directly with you or an associate of yours? In addition, how often do you meet with clients to review their situation and financial plan? As your life and assets change so should your financial plan. Regularly scheduled reviews with your financial advisor help keep you connected and on track to reach your goals.
- Do you have proprietary products and investments within the firm you work for? Avoiding proprietary products can help eliminate any conflict of interest and ensure the advisor is truly acting in your best interest.
- The financial advisor tries to sell you an investment/or product in your first meeting. We believe your goals are the priority and a detailed financial plan is required in order to ensure we have a strategy that gives us the best chance at reaching those goals. Recommending an investment prior to knowing what investment objective is needed in order to reach your goals is hardly prudent wealth management.
- The financial advisor is primarily an insurance salesman pushing annuities. Annuities can be an effective means to reaching your goals; however, rarely is it in the client’s best interest to have a significant portion of their assets in annuities.
- The advisor pushes one investment or product as a “must-have” in your portfolio. There is no one single investment that fits every person and every portfolio. As mentioned before, it is essential for a financial advisor to build your portfolio around your goals and investment objectives. Your portfolio should be unique, just like you and your situation.
- The advisor will not tell you how much he or she earns in commissions or fees from an investment. Moreover, if the advisor tells you “the insurance or product company pays them”, it is a big red flag and the broker is not being transparent. Ultimately you pay the commission either by an upfront commission or less return because the company pays the broker. Transparency is key to building a trusting relationship.
Contact Us for a Complimentary Consultation
If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our advisors, you can fill out the Contact Us form on the right-hand side of this page or give us a call at (817) 717-3812.
More information can be found in our Virtus View – a newsletter we send via email twice each month. For the latest investment insights, tips, and strategies to help you live your best financial life, you can sign up to receive this newsletter at the bottom of this page. In addition, past Virtus View articles can be read here on our blog.
The information provided here is for general information only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice.