From brokers to investment advisors to financial planners, there are many different types of investment professionals. With an endless number of options and philosophies to compare, choosing the right investment professional can be daunting. “At Filomeno Wealth Management, we are independent, fee-only advisors,” said Mike Tedone CPA / PFS, Managing Director, Filomeno Wealth Management.
Independent, fee-only advisors are compensated only for their advice and not for the investments they recommend. Brokers, in contrast, are commonly compensated by commissions and sale of products.
“It seems like a simple distinction, but it is a powerful one. As fee-only advisors, we are legally required to act as fiduciaries to our clients, which means we must put the client first, thus eliminating any conflicts of interest,” Tedone said. “These are not just interchangeable titles – they really mean something quite different.”
5 Tips for Making the Right Decision
- Make sure you know how your advisor is being paid. Ideally, the fee should be a percentage of the amount of money the advisor is managing for you. Your advisor should only receive payment from you and not from the investments selected on your behalf. This way, payment is straightforward and transparent.
- Create a long-term individualized investment plan. Seek an advisor who will sit down with you and listen to your unique financial situation and goals and compose an investment plan that will help you to achieve them. Your advisor should take the time to empower you through continuous communication and education while preparing and executing your plan.
- Retain custody of your assets. Your advisor should use a third-party custodian to ensure the security of your investments. This will guarantee that your money is in a separate account with your name on it. The custodian will send you statements independent of information you receive directly from your advisor.
- Coordinate tax planning with investment strategies. An integrated strategy that includes investment, tax and estate planning is the best way to achieve optimal results. An advisor who understands the many moving parts and how they intersect and affect one another will be able to help you make informed decisions about the ‘big picture.’
- Understand the breadth of services offered. While some advisors only offer asset management, others are able to offer wealth management as well. Those who can offer wealth management have a more complete picture of a client’s finances.
“Beyond these five points it is critical that the advisor you choose shares your investment philosophy and works to nurture a trusting relationship with you,” Tedone said. “After all, finances affect how you live your life, how you achieve your goals and what is most important to you. This is personal – yet essential – information and you should feel comfortable sharing information with your advisor.”
About Filomeno Wealth Management
At Filomeno Wealth Management, we are compensated only for our advice, and not for the investments we recommend. Therefore, we offer clients the peace-of-mind that they are receiving unbiased counsel as we develop and execute long-term individualized investment plans focused on asset allocation, diversification, expenses & taxes. Through its affiliate, Filomeno & Company, clients are offered a wide range of services including: individual tax or strategic tax, accounting & auditing, business advisory, business valuations, corporate tax, qualified plans and fraud prevention. Located in West Hartford, CT, the company’s mission is to ‘passionately serve our clients, our community, our firm and each other.’ For more information, contact Filomeno Wealth Management at 860-760-7017 or visit www.filomenowealth.com.