5 Ways to Compare Investment Advisors

Written by John Osbon on August 6, 2014

The relentless search for “better” is a basic, and essential, human instinct. We want better shelter, better food, better people in our lives. We want better goods and services so badly that entire industries have developed to create, advertise and sell them.  We strongly encourage all investors to seek and demand better. Considering the time we spend choosing restaurants, detergent brands and paint colors, it’s definitely worth some time and energy to compare your existing advisor to other options. Finding better could literally change your life and the financial prospects of your family for generations.

Here’s a free checklist for you to use as you satisfy your instinct for better.

Demand straight answerscomparing-2
As you begin your search, here are the 5 fundamental questions that advisors must answer before you can make a meaningful comparison.

  1. Why are your investment products or strategies better? The evidence is clear. Index investing, our only approach, has a thirty year track record of consistently beating active investment management, on average.
  2. How are you cutting costs to increase my returns? Relentlessly…the management expenses of index ETFs started far lower than active management and have gone straight down with increased competition.  Further, Osbon Capital fees fall as your balance grows. 
  3. How are you lowering my taxes?  Three ways: by not incurring taxes in the first place by making as few trades as possible,  by using tax-efficient ETFs, and by offsetting gains with losses. The industry calls the latter “tax loss harvesting;” we call it “anti-taxing.”
  4. Show me where you’ve been; show me where I can go. Gladly. We’ll happily show you our portfolios side by side with your current advisor’s.  Comparing actual historical and prospective returns and risk levels can be an important eye-opener.   
  5. Write it down.  With pride.  We want you to know as much as possible about our approach to meeting your specific goals, about the investment products we utilize, and about the investment practices that we follow to assemble and manage your portfolio. Our operation is transparent and we put it all in writing so you have no doubt how we work.

To conduct portfolio analysis, such as a comparison of your existing portfolio to an Osbon portfolio, we use Windham asset management software, from the cutting-edge advisor to massive endowments, pension funds and other institutional investors. We think of Windham as our 8 PhD’s working in our back office for your advantage. Few advisors to individual investors have access to Windham; it’s a huge plus for our clients.

Try it, you can only win
Competition brings out the best in everyone, so here’s your chance.  Put your portfolio out for competitive analysis. Results can never be guaranteed in investing, but through this process I guarantee you will come away better informed, either convinced change is necessary or sure that you are in exactly the right place.

John Osbon – josbon@osboncapital.com


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