We've finally decided on our financial advisor and will be moving ahead with him / his firm this week.
This was our selection process:
0. Studied investment management process and business
1. Searched and looked for DFA related advisors (they have a good vetting process and we're comfortable with their philosophy).
2. Asked people we respected who worked with or knew financial advisors.
3. Made a survey of the market to compare fee structures
4. Identified critical differentiating factors:
a. discretionary vs. non-discretionary advice (is permission required)
b. does the advisor incorporate financial planning or offer it as in integrated process?
c. how will tax consequences be integrated into investment recommendations
d. accessibility and style
f. aggressive evaluation of best investments for different asset classes
h. interview current clients
i. examination of investment recommendations
j. most importantly - ethical standards
k. check regulatory databases for infractions / disciplinary issues
l. confirmed fee only / no comission or indirect compensation from investment providers
Things I wish I had done, but have moved ahead without doing them:
1. Visited the vanguard die forum - many advisors visit there - read their posts
2. Met in person (not required but helpful in forming an oppinion)
I expect to begin the process over the next few days. Here are next steps:
1. sign contract and return to advisor.
2. read survey instructions and provide financial information
The next steps are somewhat speculative but will be confirmed later:
3. review survey / clarify / provide additional information
4. participate in asset allocation model planning process
5. wait for research and plan creation process to be completed
6. review resuls / discuss / modify
7. open new accounts and trnasfer assets as necessary (to institutions with custodial services or cheaper transaction fees)
8. advisor begins investment management process
Hope this is helpful for all of those considering hiring a financial advisor.
Anyone who has already done so, I'd be grateful to hear any recommendations regarding this phase.