Choosing an Advisor: What You Should Know

September 18, 2020

*Updated 11/17/2021

Let’s be honest: Hiring an advisor can be daunting – it’s technical, time consuming and the stakes are high. You want to get it right, but how do you know? As you begin speaking with advisors, it would be helpful if you could evaluate them objectively. Asking each advisor a consistent set of questions can help ensure that you have the proper information to make an effective comparison. Here are some questions to help you get started:

Who are you?

We are BSW Wealth Partners. We are an award-winning, authentically independent, financial planning and wealth management firm that helps Make Life Better. BSW is Built to Last and uses Business as a Force for Good. We are known for our deep client experience, sustainable business and outstanding culture. We set the bar high for ourselves to provide the highest quality results for our clients.

Tell me about BSW’s performance?

BSW measures its performance in two ways: foremost, on our ability to meet our clients’ specific financial needs and long-term goals; and secondly, by crafting smart, resilient portfolios that produce superior risk-adjusted returns. Whether working with an individual, a family, endowment or an organization, BSW custom designs strategies to reflect each client’s individual objectives, risk tolerance, complexity and resources. Our value is not merely the absolute performance of the portfolio but, importantly, the quality of its construction and effectiveness of its management. Reflecting our diverse clientele, BSW does not have a single rate of return. We are proud of our performance – let us show you the results that are most aligned with the goals you wish to accomplish.

What are BSW’s Values?

Armed with a clear sense of purpose, BSW’s values are the container for all that we do.  We are excited to share more about our values with you.

  1. Be Courageous
  2. Be Creative and Curious
  3. Be a Force for Good
  4. Empower Others
  5. Find Balance
  6. Be Humble

What are BSW’s credentials and background?

A financial advisor’s professional designations and experience can tell you a great deal about her/his education and area of specialization. BSW’s experienced team includes attorneys, accountants, MBA’s and a range of advanced financial specialties such as CFA®, CFP®, CAIA®, CDFA, RICP®, CSRIC™, and BFA™.

What makes BSW’s client experience unique?

BSW Wealth Partners begins by deeply understanding what wealth represents to you. Perhaps, wealth represents freedom and peace of mind. For some it is health, family or friends. Wealth includes experiences that bring you illumination, fulfillment, enjoyment. Wealth is being rich in doing what you love and loving what you do. What would you do if money were no object? Working closely alongside you, we build relationships that are nurtured through these thoughtful discussions. BSW’s approach honors transparency and authenticity and fosters real collaboration.

What services do I need?

You may be coming to us at a time of transition in your life, possibly preparing for retirement, amid a divorce, anticipating an inheritance or awaiting an IPO. Maybe it’s just time for a change as you’ve outgrown your current financial advisor or are seeking a new partner to help guide you. Perhaps they simply aren’t skilled in investing in a way that is aligned with your vision and values. BSW has services and specialties dedicated to each of these situations.

Family Office – Family office clients tap into the best of BSW and go far beyond investment and advisory services. All of our capabilities and resources are deployed on your behalf. We serve as your advocate, confidante, sounding board, mediator, and steady counsel.

Private Client – Successful individuals and families who are ready to delegate away complexities and drudgeries of managing their financial lives flourish. BSW’s white glove approach is unlike any other investment firm you’ve experienced and includes specialized expertise, curated professional support and superior investment options.

Wealth Management – Wealth management clients work directly with advisors who understand your life circumstances and aspiration. We help guide your path to your dreams and goals. BSW develops and implements a customized investment plan that proactively creates and grows your wealth, including providing access to proprietary investments.

Do you receive compensation or commissions for selling investments?

No. BSW does not sell investment products of any kind. We receive no compensation or commission for implementing our advice. BSW’s advisory fee is designed to avoid conflicts of interest and is based solely on the assets you place under our supervision. As such, we are strategic advisors and investment professionals, not salespeople. Our only considerations are what will be in your best interest.

How will we work together?

Each BSW engagement is supported by a dedicated team selected specifically for you, including your personal Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Associate Advisor, and Client Service Manager. This team works with you and for you. Beyond your personal team, you also have access to the creativity, guidance and resources of the entire BSW team at your disposal.

How does BSW respond to market risk?

Investment success does not happen by luck or by accident: it is the product of a smart, disciplined, well-executed investment plan that reflects your goals, your needs and your life. A plan that considers opportunity, risk and volatility. An all-weather plan that will allow you to sleep at night while others claim the sky is falling.

While managing the growth you need is a primary goal, managing risk is the quiet ingredient to long-term success. We think of your investment plan like a small tree you plant in the backyard; you don’t pull it up by the roots every quarter to see how it’s doing or because there might be a storm coming. You tend to it, nurture it and let its roots deepen. One day, you look up to see it’s become a mighty tree, in spite of those storms. You want an intelligent investment strategy and the right team to help you manage it. Let BSW craft a smart, productive portfolio you can ride through uncertain times and successfully out the other side.

Why should I work with BSW?

We all have only so much energy, bandwidth and time. There are things you want to accomplish for yourself and your family and BSW is a means to those ends. We work with you to understand and accomplish your priorities. As an authentically independent firm, we are not forced to choose between doing right for our clients vs. following the dictates of a corporate parent. Investments are not simply numbers on a statement, they represent a future purpose and goal. We are fiercely loyal and always act in your best interest. Our allegiance lies solely with you. We do things differently than our peers, and our results and relationships with our clients bears this out.

What are BSW’s fees?

BSW’s fees are all-inclusive, fully transparent, and based solely on a percentage of the assets we are managing for you (typically 1% or less). A good advisor should be able to walk you through exactly what you are paying in a way that you understand and demonstrate the value you are receiving. Think twice about any advisor that is unable or unwilling to do this.

Prepare for a truly transformative process, one that allows you to accomplish what is most important in your life. Relax into the confidence of having the right team helping to make those things happen. When each of us is thriving and doing good work, it makes for a better world. Allow our team to enable you to realize the full expression of what is possible in your life.

Life already sounds Better, doesn’t it?