Choosing the right investment manager or wealth manager is crucial if you want to have a successful portfolio.

The reality is that managing your investments yourself requires a lot of time and effort, and many people simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of it all. Also, you need to continually study the market and stay up to date on current trends and predictions if you want to be successful.

“The financial landscape is always changing,” said Alex Oxenham of Hilton Capital Management, “so you need to be sure you’re working with someone experienced enough to react and adapt to different environments,” adding that the investment firm’s interests should also be aligned with yours.

First Things First: Ask Yourself These Things

1: What Are Your Goals?

It all starts with being aware of what your goals are and what you are trying to accomplish.

Are you trying to set up a passive income stream that will be enough to fund your retirement? Are you looking to build up an extensive portfolio that will allow you to never work again? Are you merely looking for some investments that will provide you a financial security cushion? Do you have a lot of money, such as from an inheritance, and you are looking for a safe place to store it?

Once you know what you need, you can move on to looking for a manager that will be able to take care of those needs.

2: What Kind of Professional Do You Need?

There are different kinds of professionals when it comes to investing.

  • Advisor. They will give you recommendations for what to invest in. These people will not spend your money for you, but will only guide you in your investing journey.
  • Certified Financial Planners. These people will help you out with your personal finance needs and will help you figure out how to budget, save money, and invest appropriately. Then there will be managers who manage your assets, money, and investments for you.

When working with these people, you won’t have to worry about the hassles of finding a broker or trading on the stock exchange. They will do all of the hard work for you.

3: Make Sure They Are Qualified

Any investment firm should have good reviews on the internet and a good name in the investing industry.

You should be able to ask the manager for references from previous and existing clients.

Make sure that the manager is fully licensed and holds all of the required certifications. This is especially important if the manager is actively investing your money for you.

4: Focus On Communication

The manager should be open with you and willing to communicate openly about everything that is going on.

He or she should be receptive to questions that you may have about personal finance, investing, and his or her qualifications, methods, and investing history. If he or she is not open to communication, that is a red flag.

“Total transparency is crucial,” explained Hilton Capital Management.

Hilton Capital Management in a privately-held investment firm. Founded in 2001, the firm manages roughly $1.6 billion in balanced and equity strategies.

The firm’s primary strategy is a tactical income one that seeks capital preservation with an emphasis on income generation. It was created to give fixed-income investors the opportunity to increase their potential returns, while not dramatically increase their level of risk. The focus on risk management and capital preservations are the cornerstones of the company philosophy, and they pride themselves on managing money in a responsible manner, with a long-term outlook.

5: Review Their Performance

Once the working relationship has started, going forward, it is crucial to continually review the performance of your assets and investments. You should check in every once in a while to make sure that you are receiving satisfactory results.

If you notice that you are not achieving the results that you thought you would, don’t be afraid about asking the manager about the cause.  The market may simply be in a downturn–or it could be that the relationship is simply not a good fit.