If you are trying to find a wealth manager and don’t know where to start here is a quick guide with some initial questions to ask.
Wealth managers differ significantly in the services they offer. Some are online only wealth managers offering access to investment products through a range of pre-chosen ETFs, some focus on ethical investments, others only offer their own selection of funds, whilst some offer access to the entire market place of investment and savings products.
So, what questions you ask should you ask when choosing a wealth manager?
First, thing first, it’s important to ask about fees, in particular exit fees. If you don’t get along with your wealth manager you need the option to leave and switch to another wealth manager without being penalised financially for doing so. After all, you could be using the same point of contact for twenty years. So it’s important you have a good relationship with them.
Some large wealth managers, charge up to 6% of the value of your portfolio when you leave. In many cases, this acts like a handcuff as if you have £1m under administration with them, the fine for moving is £60k.
Most wealth managers are upfront about costs but do note it is hard to compare wealth management fees directly as many offer different service levels. For example, some include advice for free but have a higher annual fee, whilst others have a lower annual fee, but charge extra for advice
7IM which offers wealth management services have also come up with three initial questions to ask a wealth manager:
- How do you manage your own money? – You should get a clear and simple answer here.
- How will I interact with my portfolio? – You definitely need a firm with good online access and regular reporting.
- Who will look after me? – You need to make sure that whoever is looking after you has a clear understanding of your attitude to risk and investment objectives.
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Richard founded the Good Money Guide (previously Good Broker Guide) in 2015 and has been a broker for 20 years most recently at Investors Intelligence and previously a multi-asset derivatives broker at MF Global (Man Financial). Richard started his career working as a private client stockbroker at Walker Crips and Phillip Securities (now King and Shaxson) after interning on the NYMEX oil trading floor in New York and London IPE in 2001 & 2000.