How to Choose an Investment Firm — PillarWM
If you’re considering investing your wealth, you may need the assistance of an investment firm. Investing without the assistance of an investment firm can be a risky strategy if you’re navigating the market for the first time. That said, how does one choose an investment firm? You have to consider several factors based on the investment strategy you’re looking for, the amount you’re investing, and the relationship you want to have with the investment company.
STRATEGIES FOR FAMILIES WORTH $5 MILLION TO $500 MILLION
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Here’s our guide to choosing an investment firm,which discusses the important factors you need to consider.
Table of Contents
The Products and Services Offered
When you’re looking for a top investment firm,make sure you research and get familiar with the kinds of investments these firms offer. Some will offer you stocks, while others will expand your options to IPOs and ETFs. To learn more about the options we offer to our investors and the kind of clients we’re willing to take on at Pillar Wealth Management, set up a free video meeting with a wealth manager.
To simplify your choice, be sure to search for firms that match the type of investments you want to make.
Does the Investment Company Have a Disciplinary History?
Even if a relative or close friend recommends an investment company, you should still do some background research to look for potential problems. You could look for disciplinary history or customer complaints. FINRA, the SEC, and regulators keep detailed records on many investment professionals.
You can also check whether the investment company is named in the SEC database.
Convenience is a Consideration, Too
For most high net worth individuals, calling up a broker and telling them what they’re looking for just doesn’t cut it anymore. That is also why several top investment firms now offer their clients the option to invest through a mobile application. Most of these applications will allow you to access your portfolio while you’re on the go.
However, even if you’re using an app to understand your financial position better, you’ll still need the guidance of a person experienced in making investments. If you’re an investor with $5 million or more in the bank, you can benefit from the investment strategies we describe in our special guide.
Setting Investment Goals
Before you begin your search for an investment firm, you need to define your investment goals. What do you aim to achieve with your investment? The most common rule for setting investing goals is to establish SMART goals. Every goal for your investment strategy should be:
- Specific: when you’re setting a financial goal, you need to determine the amount of money you’re willing to invest and its purpose.
- Measurable: Every investment goal must be easy to measure. Attach a specific dollar amount to every goal, and soon, you’ll be able to see how close or how far you are from that goal.
- Achievable: Even though it is okay to set goals that are far-fetched, setting a goal that is too hard for you to achieve can lower your motivation. Moreover, you might pull resources from other goals to ensure you reach that one goal.
- Relevant: Each of your investment goals must align with your moral values and your broader goals.
- Time-bound: Simply attaching a dollar value to your goal isn’t enough. This will make you inattentive, and you may not take your investment goals seriously. That’s why you need to set a time limit for every goal. Meaning, you must know how much money you should devote towards your investment account every month and how long you should keep it.
Even if you’re investing in a safe option like real estate, you’ll still need a realistic goal with an achievable outcome. To know more about the challenges that can come with real estate investment, speak to one of our advisors trained to guide investors with $10 million or more.
The Investment Firm’s Qualifications
If you’re trusting a firm with your money, you’ll also have to ensure they’re qualified to invest on your behalf. Ask the investment firm for information about their accounts and the percentage return you can expect. It would be best if you also researched the individuals working for the company. You can do this through social media. If you’re trading cryptocurrencies, research the crypto platform.
Additionally, the investment firm must be able to define its objectives, which will help you decide if the firm’s investment style matches your goals. Listed below are some of the roles you may see in an investment firm.
• An income fund manager:This individual buys and sells stocks for companies listed in the market. They also make sure the companies they’re investing in have a strong balance sheet and pay dividends regularly.
• A growth fund manager: This person focuses on investing in a company that has increased its profits over time. Growth fund managers typically invest in firms that reinvest their profits into the business rather than paying them to shareholders as dividends.
• A value fund manager: this individual looks for cheap stocks that aren’t performing well. They do this in the hope that the stocks’ value will appreciate over time to sell them at a profit.
You’ll find these objectives on the investment company’s fact sheet . These sheets are updated every month and are available online. Every investment company investing on your behalf should focus on diversifying your portfolio without compromising its performance. To learn more about this concept, check out our guide on the same topic.
How Does the Fund Invest?
When an ultra-high net worth individual selects an investment fund, it’s important for them to analyze how the investment fund chooses to invest their money. The top ten holdings or the percentage of the value held in each company is also available on the fund fact sheet. A top investment firm usually holds somewhere between 50 to 100 stocks. That said, getting to see a full and updated list of holdings isn’t that easy.
That’s because investment funds usually update this list only twice a year. However, some investment funds may publish a list more frequently. For an investment trust, the rules may be slightly different. They’re required to disclose their top ten holdings and any others that take up more than 5% of their portfolio’s value. But to find this information, you’ll either have to ask the wealth managers working for the firm or go through their website rigorously.
Deciding Which Fund to Invest In
Another important element of our guide to choosing an investment firm are the different factors you need to consider while selecting a firm. Here are some of them:
Consider the Risk
• Every investment firm takes on a certain level of risk
• Before you pick a company, decide how much risk you want to take on
• Emerging market equity, for instance, is more attractive for investors who are prepared to take on more risk to earn a higher profit
• Many firms indicate the amount of risk they take on
Check Independent Ratings
• Independent rating firms often provide funds ratings
• These ratings can help consumers identify the potentially best fund
• Some investment firms may be highlighted for superior performance
• Regardless of the firm you’re investing in, it will charge you a fee
• An ongoing charges figure (OCF) is considered to be the most accurate measure available, telling you what it costs to invest in a firm
The OCF includes the annual management charge (AMC) that various fund managers charge
Investing for the First Time? Here’s How to Get Started
High Yield Savings Account
This is one of the easiest ways to boost the earnings on your investments. A high-yield savings account can be typically opened through an online bank. These accounts pay a higher interest rate than a standard savings account while also giving you daily access to your money.
This can be a great way to park your money in an account for investment purposes. You can either keep it in the account for a couple of years or hold on to it for an emergency. To learn more about how you can protect your impressive portfolio, request a copy of our book The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million.
401(k) or other Retirement Plan
This is another simple way to make your entrance into the world of investments. It has significant incentives you can benefit from today and in the future. Many employers agree to match a portion of your salary that you agree to invest. This portion from your salary (and your employer’s portion) goes into your retirement account. If your employer is offering to match your contribution, and you turn down the offer, you’re essentially turning down free money!
In a traditional 401(k) account, the contributions are tax-free and continue to grow until retirement age. To know more about some stellar taxation strategies, read our guide for investors that have $5 million or more. Some employers offer a Roth 401(k), which allows contributions after taxes. If you take this option, you won’t have to pay taxes on the withdrawals you make during retirement.
These retirement plans can help you save money because they work on their own once you’ve made an initial selection, after which you add to your account automatically over time, and it continues to grow. You can also choose to invest in a target-date mutual fund. To know more about retirement planning, please consider speaking to one of our wealth managers.
Through a mutual fund, investors can invest in various bonds, stocks, and other assets they wouldn’t be able to build on their own. The most popular mutual funds have different indexes. One of them is the S&P 500, which has 500 of the biggest companies in the U.S Index Fund. Occasionally, mutual funds don’t have a fee.
As a result, investors can keep more of the returns, which builds wealth over time.
Exchange-traded funds are a lot like mutual funds since they hold many different securities. However, these are traded throughout the day, just like the stock market. Unlike mutual funds, ETFs don’t have a minimum investment requirement (typically a few thousand dollars). ETFs can be bought for the price of one share plus any commission or fee associated with your purchase.
To learn more about the different ways an investment firm can diversify your portfolio, set up a complimentary video meeting with our wealth managers. They’ll take you through the different investment and wealth management options we offer.
If you’re an investor looking for an investment firm, you should reach out to Pillar Wealth Management. The wealth managers at PillarWM have many years of experience and have helped many investors achieve their goals. We maintain ongoing relationships with all of our clients, and we’re upfront about the fee we charge. Get in touch with us today for an introductory interview with an expert wealth manager.
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