By Mike Collopy, CFP®, CIMA®
We have no lack of options these days. Whether it’s choosing a restaurant or finding a doctor, there are so many choices that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and doubt your decision. When it comes to choosing a financial advisor, the stakes are even higher. How do you know which one will be the right fit for your situation or personality? How do you know if you’ll like them or work well with them?
The financial professional you choose to handle your family’s wealth will have a significant impact on your investment strategy, the fees you pay, and your confidence in your financial future. This is not a decision to take lightly, especially since each advisor has a different level of service, experience, and ability. Taking all of that into consideration, it is vital that you take your time to find an advisor that meets your needs and makes you feel at ease. So, when you start your advisor search, ask potential candidates the following 5 questions.
1. Are You a Fiduciary?
There’s a reason this is the first question—its importance cannot be overstated! An advisor who serves as a fiduciary accepts a responsibility to put his or her clients’ interests first and foremost in all decisions. A fiduciary is legally required to avoid conflicts of interest and remain unbiased in their recommendations and advice.
Veracity Capital is a Registered Investment Advisory firm and abides by the fiduciary standard of professional conduct. We believe in transparency and honesty, doing what we say and finishing what we start—all for your benefit.
2. Do You Hold Any Credentials?
We take credentials seriously, and we think you should too. Credentials and education play a critical role in your advisor’s competence. There are hundreds of designations in the financial services field, and some are more applicable to your needs than others. (1)
Personally, I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a Certified Investment Management Analyst ®. The rest of the Veracity Capital team holds a variety of credentials requiring comprehensive education and experience, including the CFP®, CIMA®, CFA®, CKA®, and AIF® designations. As a firm, we pursue education and credentials because of how dedicated we are to providing unparalleled client service.
3. What Is Your Planning and Investment Philosophy?
It’s important to work with an advisor who shares a planning and investing philosophy similar to your own. Does your advisor stick to a scientific, evidence-based approach? Do they believe in buy-and-hold or do they move to cash when the market looks shaky? Talk with an advisor about how they guide clients’ investing and financial decisions.
At Veracity Capital, we know that a sound asset allocation strategy is a key way you can turn your wealth into new ways to live your best life. Our investment strategies are customized to your unique goals and needs so you can maximize your growth while protecting your wealth.
As fiduciaries who put our clients’ interests first, always, we are known for providing a holistic perspective on client finances. Our comprehensive process first looks at the big picture of each client’s family, health, and wealth, then drills down to provide solutions for their financial needs, concerns, and goals. We’re passionate about the science of financial planning and investing and use that to help clients build a strong foundation for their financial life. We consider clients to be family, and strive to support them and their families as they work hard for their financial future.
4. How Much Do You Charge?
Financial planning and investment costs can be confusing. And too often financial advisors don’t readily disclose their fees. As fee-based advisors, our clients always know what they’re paying and what they’re receiving for their money. We want our clients to feel comfortable with their strategies and confident that there are no hidden fees eating away at their hard-earned savings.
The most common way we are compensated is by an Assets Under Management (AUM) fee, which is paid quarterly, based on the value of your assets.
5. Who Do You Serve?
Some financial advisors focus on serving a specific demographic or level of investable assets, so you’ll want to find this out before choosing an advisor. Why is this important? Because you deserve advice and services tailored to your unique needs.
At Veracity Capital, our clients are career-driven, which often includes corporate employees needing guidance on how to maximize their benefits package. We also serve pre-retirees as they prepare to transition into their retirement in 5-10 years, and beyond. Our experience in these areas allows us to give you the advice that will make the most difference in your life.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
An advisor should be happy to answer these questions and any others you may have about how they operate. If you don’t know where to start, ask friends and family for referrals to set you down the right path.
At Veracity Capital, we believe in complete transparency and want our clients to feel comfortable working with us and asking us questions. If you’d like to learn more about our answers to these questions or any others you may have, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for an introductory meeting by contacting me at 678-685-3265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Collopy is wealth advisor and partner at Veracity Capital. As a fiduciary who puts his clients’ interests first, always, Mike is known for providing a holistic perspective on his clients’ finances. His comprehensive process first looks at the big picture of each client’s family, health, and wealth, then drills down to provide solutions for their financial needs, concerns, and goals. He’s passionate about the science of financial planning and investing and uses that to help his clients build a strong foundation for their financial life. Mike serves career-driven individuals who need professional advice to manage their wealth and maximize their opportunities, such as corporate benefits and complicated compensation packages. He considers his clients to be like family, and strives to support them and their families as they work hard for their financial future.
Mike has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Coastal Carolina University and an MBA from The College of Saint Rose. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and is a Certified Investment Management Analyst ®. When he’s not working, you can find Mike spending time with his wife and young son, often exploring the great outdoors by hiking or enjoying the beach. He likes to stay active, playing basketball and training for half marathons. Mike gives back to the community by supporting organizations dedicated to finding treatments for cystic fibrosis. To learn more about Mike, connect with him on LinkedIn.