How to Pick a Wealth Management Firm


If you want a sense of peace of mind regarding your finances, it’s essential to find a wealth management company to guide you through the investment process. Wealth management firms offer assistance with retirement planning, tax planning and estate planning. Many take a holistic approach to their clients’ financial situations, providing guidance that benefits them now and in the future.

Not all wealth or personal financial management companies are the same. Some offer a limited range of services, while others target high-net-worth clients. As you choose a wealth manager, here are a few things to pay attention to.

Table of Contents:

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What Is Their Competence and Experience?

Experience matters when you’re choosing a wealth management company. You might be hesitant to work with a newly formed firm or one staffed mainly by recent college graduates. Ideally, you’ll choose a company with a proven track record.

You can ask how many assets they have under management to get a sense of the size of their client base. You can also research any other designations or licenses the wealth managers hold or have held in the past. BrokerCheck is a good place to search for licenses and any history that advisors might have if they are with a Broker Dealer Firm. Finally, if the firm is a Registered Investment Advisor Firm, you can request a copy of the ADV Brochure. This document is an outline of how they do business and any disciplinary actions that the firm or the advisor individually might have.

It’s also crucial to check out the credentials of the company you are considering partnering with. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is one credential worth looking for. CFPs® need to demonstrate experience in the field. They need to pass exams to earn accreditation. To maintain their CFP® status, they need to follow a code of ethics.

How Does the Wealth Management Firm Serve Its Clients?

Another question to ask when choosing a wealth manager is how the company will serve you. For example, if you are looking for guidance and advice to help you plan for retirement, the firm you work with must provide that. Some services you might need include the following.

  • Tax planning: Your wealth manager can work with you to develop a strategy to minimize your tax obligations in retirement. Developing a tax strategy can help you maximize your investments before and after you retire.
  • Investment planning: A wealth management firm might also provide investment planning services, giving you peace of mind about your future. Investment planning allows you to choose investments that work for your current risk tolerance.
  • Retirement planning: A wealth manager can also help you map out a plan for your retirement, then guide you through the decision-making process so you are most likely to have the income you need to live the way you want after you retire.
  • Health care expenses planning: Health care costs are usually part of getting older. A wealth management firm that takes a comprehensive approach to managing your finances is likely to offer assistance with planning for health expenses in retirement, including long-term care costs and those not covered by Medicare.
  • Estate planning: Part of wealth planning considers what will happen to your assets after you pass on. Do you hope to leave something behind for your family? A wealth management firm that provides estate planning services can help you make arrangements that minimize your family’s tax burden and make it more likely your surviving loved ones will carry out your wishes.

How Will the Wealth Management Firm Get Compensated?

How the firm makes money says a lot about it. The compensation scheme could affect the quality of the advice a company offers you. For example, a firm that earns a commission on specific investments might be more likely to recommend those to its clients. If the firm isn’t a fiduciary, your adviser might suggest something that isn’t in your best interests.

The commission model also presents the potential for a conflict of interest. A wealth manager who works on commission might feel compelled to pitch investments or services, even if they aren’t quite right for you. 

Instead of getting paid on commission, some wealth management firms charge a fee for their services. A fee-only company charges a flat rate for their services. The amount they earn doesn’t depend on a specific investment, so they are more likely to make recommendations that serve their clients’ needs.

Why Should You Choose Nova Wealth Management?

James and Amy Novakovich started Nova Wealth Management in 2011 to help clients achieve their ideal retirement and business owners grow and continue to thrive. Together, the couple has decades of combined experience developing financial strategies and designing customized wealth management plans for clients. Amy Novakovich is a CFP® and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠. Gulfshore Life magazine named James and Amy Novakovich both Five-Star Wealth Manager.

Nova Wealth Management upholds a fiduciary duty to our clients. To maintain this responsibility, we promise to:

  • Offer thorough and accurate advice.
  • Discuss potential conflicts of interest and strive to avoid them.
  • Put your needs first.

Schedule a Call With Our Experts

Our team works with clients all over the world and has offices in both Illinois and Florida. If you’re looking for a wealth management company that will put you first and do what we can to develop a holistic and comprehensive plan for your finances, contact Nova Wealth Management today to schedule a meeting.

About the Author

Picture of Amy Novakovich, CFP®, CRPC®

Amy Novakovich, CFP®, CRPC®

Amy is a Co-Founder of Nova Wealth Management. She is a native of Wisconsin and moved to Florida in 2004. She earned a degree in finance from Florida Gulf Coast University. Amy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®) and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® (CRPC®).

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