How to Choose an Investment Manager

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If you are expanding your franchise investments beyond a small portfolio, you may soon find that managing all of your investments takes more time than you can spare. Just tracking a few extra businesses can double or triple your workload. Success is much easier when you outsource at least some of your routine management tasks to an independent investment manager. Hiring a manager doesn't have to be hard, but you do need to commit to a little investigative work before you hand over your personal information to another professional. Start by putting together a package of questions for your prospective managers to help you determine which candidate has the most experience relevant to your industries and businesses. Include plenty of questions that fall into these three categories.

1. History

Start with plenty of inquiries into the history and experience of the firm or individual. Learning about the overall mission and philosophy of the management team will allow you to decide if they will match your own goals and plans. You should also seek out a firm focusing on your niche or industry. A franchise investor that only keeps restaurants in their portfolio will need a vastly different manager than the person who prefers specialized retail stores. This would also be the time to discuss the fees and costs related to the services. You will need to negotiate the exact services you want for your investment plans and how much that will cost each month, quarter and year.

2. Methodology

Checking into the methods used by each candidate is also crucial. Some firms may use a system for handling investments that simply won't work with your personal methods. If you prefer to use quarterly schedules for re-evaluation on investments, you probably want to avoid firms that only offer these kinds of meetings once per year. If the company recently made major changes to their processes in the last few years, you will need to investigate the causes behind these adjustments. Look into the reporting methods offered to you as well. You need to receive regular updates of all the most relevant information so you can retain the appropriate amount of control over your investments.


3. Personality

Don't overlook the importance of a connection between you and your investment manager. You will give these people a lot of sensitive data, so avoid people that don't mesh with you personally. Meet the exact person that plans to manage your details so you know who should be held responsible. This is also the right time to request references from previous clients that were pleased with their performance.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



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