Should I hire an investment manager or do it myself?

Some people are meticulous about every cent they spend. They closely track the financial markets, chart the value of their whole life insurance policies and pay close attention when the Federal Reserve releases its latest report on interest rates.

These people have calculated the cost of college for their children down to the dollar and have a retirement plan that should weather any fiscal storm.

These people do not need an investment manager.

The rest of us, however, can use some help – particularly as we face life situations that require delicate navigation. As Lindsay Gellman of The Wall Street Journal explains, “whether you need an adviser depends largely on your financial situation. Are you nearing retirement, puzzling over when to take Social Security benefits or tap your 401(k)? Call an adviser.”

An investment manager will help you to construct and manage your portfolio.  Manisha Thakor, director of wealth strategies at Buckingham and The BAM Alliance (as well as the creator of the popular MoneyZen.com blog) writes that when you “engage in ‘investment management,’ you build a financial plan by choosing specific investments.”

This process, Ms. Thakor continues, includes:

  1. Selecting investments for purchase in areas such as the equity and/or fixed income markets.
  2. Monitoring and rebalancing assets, ideally in accordance with a written investment policy statement.
  3. Tax loss harvesting where appropriate.

An investment manager can help give you a comprehensive, analytical view of your financial circumstances that can be difficult to see when you’re in the heat of the moment. Gellman’s Wall Street Journal article quotes Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards consumer advocate Eleanor Blayney, who notes that situations like debt, loss of income or other high-stress, high-pressure issues can lead us to make poor decisions with our investments that a manager would avoid.

“You might be a brain surgeon,” Ms. Blayney told Ms. Gellman. “But would you operate on your own head?”

John Bogle, former CEO of Vanguard Group and one of the world’s most respected investors, recommends working with fee-based managers instead of advisers tied to commissions. Northwest’s advisors are “fee-only,” and do not receive sales commissions or brokerage fees for products sold.

While any investment strategy involves risk, Northwest’s managers balance optimized returns with maximum risk reduction. This strategy, along with our freedom from the commission structure, allows Northwest’s advisors to maximize your investment growth.

Because Northwest is a federally chartered investment and trust services institution, we perform under the strict regulation and watchfulness of state and federal examiners.  This offers an extra degree of transparency that helps set our investors at ease.



If you are ready to learn more about investment strategy and making the most of your wealth, visit our investment page to get started.