Organize Your Records
Your first step is making a list of all your assets, debts, and otherwise getting a comprehensive breakdown of your current financial standing. Most advisers will want to see tax returns, pay stubs, pension statements, investment and fund statements, and even your informal monthly budgets. If you can, try to have the past three years worth of records on hand before going to the meeting.
Decide What You Need
With your financial history in mind, you need to determine whether what you most need is financial planning, investment management, or both. Financial planning involves someone helping you create and execute a financial plan for your future, including IRAs and other tax strategies, as well as long-term investments to prepare you for retirement.
Investment Management on the other hand, takes a more aggressive approach to building wealth. If you are not interested in managing your own investments to aggressively build wealth, some people have had success using an investment manager to create a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and funds to grow your money so you have a bigger nest egg when you do retire.
Understand How Advisers are Paid
An important consideration when searching for a private banker is to fully understand how they are compensated, and in particular be on the lookout for any potential conflicts of interest they may have when managing your money. Some are paid by an hourly fee, or a flat price for services or a subscription.
Others receive a percentage of the assets they manage, or a percentage of the interest gained on the client’s account during a term. Still others receive commissions from companies selling financial products and mutual funds that may not be in their clients best interests. Know that you are getting a fair deal.
At The Meeting
When you go into the meeting do so with an open-minded and patient attitude. Be realistic in your expectations and do not expect answers to your problems to appear instantaneously. Also, listen to your instincts and initial feelings about the person you are dealing with. Do they seem straightforward and trustworthy? Or, in the worst cases, do they bully you into investments that you are not comfortable with? Be aware of anyone who promises the world.