We started with a survey. Out of 100 people (distributed across levels), 72 said they choose their advisor based on references, 6 people said they value professional credentials and qualifications, 16 of them picked professional experience and the balance relied on social media/marketing. Some of them mentioned words like integrity, comfort, trust etc as well. While they are very important to forge a long term professional relationship, we can’t factor these into the decision as they are only realised over time.

Naturally, basic human instinct is to resort to friends and peers for their opinion and reference. While it definitely is a good way to start, being aware of the important aspects that make a great financial advisor or wealth manager or any professional for that matter and factoring that into the decision is very critical.

Align yourself with right people, forge the right relationships and you’ll set yourself up for the long run – Daymond John, Shark Tank

Peter Kaufman, CEO of Glenair Inc., came up with five characteristics that we should look for when picking out an investment manager. He calls them the ‘five aces’ (taking a reference leaf out of poker). Here is his list verbatim;

1)      Total integrity

2)      Actual deep, deep fluency in whatever you say you are going to do on behalf of the client

3)      A fee structure that’s actually fair in both directions

4)      An uncrowded investment space (staying away from herd mentality)

5)      A long runway (meaning that he/she is reasonably young in age)

These 5 check-boxes sure do come handy while setting out to engage an advisor or investment manager. Additionally, these points are also super imperative for the advisor fraternity and professionals to help them revisit their fundamentals internally and aspire towards goals accordingly (barring point 5 of course, being a non-controllable).

Would like to include 2 more important factors to the above list;

Ø  Independent and bias-free

Our advisor can be conflict-free and act in our best interest at all points of time only if these fiduciary aspects are clean and solid

Ø  Strong belief in keeping things ‘simple’

As an investment manager, it is very important for him/her to keep things simple and straightforward, stick to the mandate/rules and not be tempted by the ‘fancy’ spaces (read ‘Products’)

As the engagement moves forward, qualities like empathy, ability to have the ‘bigger-picture’ view, comfort of space and communication etc play a vital role in the building of a meaningful, long-term professional relationship.

Conscience Multi Family Office is a bias-free professional consortium with core competencies in Investment Management, Fund Raising, Private Equity, Business Advisory and allied services including Legal, Taxation and Estate Planning.         Email - consult@consciencemfo.com