Evaluating Your Advisor and Investment Plan

Claris encourages our clients to think critically about their investments and their investment plan. After all, shouldn’t all investors have a solid understanding of how their financial lives are being managed? Answering the following questions will help you better understand and evaluate your investment advisor and the inner-workings of your wealth management plan.

Evaluating Your Advisor

  • Is my advisor legally bound to place my interests ahead of their own (a fiduciary standard of care)?
  • How much am I paying my advisor? My investment provider? Who else am I paying?
  • Do I feel that I receive solid value for the fees that I pay?
  • Does my advisor have access to a dedicated fixed income desk? What is the mark-up on my bonds?
  • Does my advisor follow the tenants of Modern Portfolio Theory?
  • What steps are taken to minimize the impact of taxes on my portfolio?
  • Does my advisor invest his/her own money the same way they invest mine
  • When the market faced its last severe decline (fall of 2007 through the spring of 2009) what did my advisor and I do about it?

Evaluating Your Investment Plan

  • Net of fees, what are my investment returns? How do these compare to a benchmark? Is this acceptable?
  • Do I have an Investment Policy Statement (IPS)? Do I have a separate IPS for my fixed income portfolio?
  • What kind of credit and term risk am I exposed to in my fixed income portfolio?
  • Am I invested in particular investments because of someone’s hunch or because of scientific proof that a particular strategy works?
  • How much risk am I really taking?
  • Am I comfortable with the level of risk that I am taking? 
  • Is my portfolio truly diversified?
  • What is the likelihood (an actual percentage) that I will exhaust my assets in my lifetime?
  • How are low interest rates impacting my portfolio?

Are you ready to understand, invest, and relax?
Please contact Scott Iverson,CFP®, ChFC, CEBS, CRPS at 314-655-5573 or siverson@claris-advisors.com

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