Chicago is an undisputed financial powerhouse in America. It wouldn’t be the same country if it weren’t for the Windy City. People who call it home are keenly aware of the importance of private wealth management. Chicago has thousands of financial advisors who are ready to give you guidance. But you should know the difference between a good advisor and a great one. This article will give you a few tips on what to look for when choosing a team to help you with your wealth.
1. Certification and Experience.
Financial advisory is truly a profession where knowledge is power. However, not everyone can be fortunate enough to have an advisor that has gone to an Ivy League school. While education is important, it’s not the end all be all. Most people want an experienced asset manager. Look for someone who has been in the game for a while. Also, the more letters after their name, the better for your money. Look for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) as they are two of the most common. The gold standard is a Certified Financial Planner or CFP.
2. Independence and Freedom from Conflicts of Interest.
An independent wealth manager is ideal. While dealing with someone from a big corporate firm is fine, more and more people who are really in tune with their finances are going with independent agents. Smaller asset management Chicago firms can give people the individualized attention they want. This also means they are less likely to be beholden to shareholders and less likely to peddle in house financial products. These conflicts of interest can often lead to bad advice.
3. Fee-Only for Maximum Savings.
This goes along with being aware of any conflicts of interest from your money manager. Most wealth managers are still compensated on a commission-based system. Clients are beginning to question this system because it can, and does, create conflicts of interest. Working on commission could cause an advisor to give compromised information in order to line their pockets. Many independent advisors are switching to a fee-only system. This system sets the prices before you enter into an agreement. While it might seem more expensive up front, dealing with a fee-only advisor could save you money and headaches in the long run.
Availability and Follow Ups.
What kind of working relationship does your advisor want to have? And are they doing their due diligence? Many financial advisors will have an upfront meeting with a new client and then check in once a year. For many people this is enough, but for others this isn’t good enough for private wealth management. Chicago, if you want your financial advisor to be more involved, you should know their availability from the start. You should also vet them in terms of how thorough they are with their work. A good tip is to make sure your advisor is a licensed fiduciary. If they have that title in their listing, they are legally obliged to look out for their clients.
Published by Diane Schrantz