These days, it can take a village to navigate one’s financial world. Whether it is managing your assets with a wealth manager, finding your way through the ever-changing landscape of tax law, sorting out your estate and succession planning or picking the right life insurance, finding the right wealth manager or team who suits your needs can be a daunting task. In fact, many consumers have a hard time figuring out where to even begin.
Sometimes, a few simple questions can set one off on the right path. Asking a professional what makes working with him or her a unique experience can help you understand how they work and if their style meshes with your own. Further, asking them to talk about any specialties they might have can help uncover skills you might find useful.
This is a great place to start! Five Star Professional has partnered with Baltimore magazine
to help consumers like you find outstanding wealth managers and investment professionals in their area. Each award candidate undergoes a thorough research process (detailed below) before being considered for the final list of award winners. For more information on our research methodology and criteria, see our Research page.
The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria. Eligibility criteria – required: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively licensed as a registered investment adviser or as a principal of a registered investment adviser firm for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (As defined by Five Star Professional, the wealth manager has not; A. Been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; B. Had more than a total of three settled or pending complaints filed against them and/or a total of five settled, pending, dismissed or denied complaints with any regulatory authority or Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process. Unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process; feedback may not be representative of any one clients’ experience; C. Individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint; D. Filed for personal bankruptcy within the past 11 years; E. Been terminated from a financial services firm within the past 11 years; F. Been convicted of a felony); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients. Evaluation criteria – considered: 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. Wealth managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their clients’ assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. For more information on the Five Star award and the research/selection methodology, go to fivestarprofessional.com. 1,898 Baltimore wealth managers were considered for the award; 234 (12% of candidates) were named 2020 Five Star Wealth Managers. 2019: 1,865 considered, 265 winners; 2018: 1,759 considered, 232 winners; 2017: 1,093 considered, 355 winners; 2016: 1,215 considered, 356 winners; 2015: 1,749 considered, 412 winners; 2014: 1,484 considered, 395 winners; 2013: 1,490 considered, 448 winners; 2012: 1,470 considered, 262 winners.
The investment professional award goes to estate planning attorneys, insurance agents and select others in the financial industry. Eligibility Criteria – Required: 1. Credentialed with appropriate state or industry licensures. 2. Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years. 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review. 4. Accepting new clients. Evaluation Criteria – Considered: 5. One-year client retention rate. 6. Five-year client retention rate. 7. Number of client households served. 8. Recent personal production and performance (industry specific criteria). 9. Education and professional designations/ industry and board certifications. 10. Pro Bono and community service work. This year, we honored 2 Baltimore investment professionals with the Five Star Investment Professional award.