E Does Distance Matter When Choosing A Wealth Manager?

Does distance make a difference?

Trust is a key factor when establishing a relationship with a wealth manager or an investment advisor. Does distance make a difference?

Do investors feel more comfortable with a local US advisor with offices downtown...even if they ever, or rarely, drop by the offices for a chat or grab a lunch together? Does picking up the phone or writing an email feel better with the knowledge that the wealth manager or investment manager is active in the same time zone?

Home-bias is understandable but...

Home-bias is understandable, it is what US investors know in-and-out. It is a level of comfortableness that, to a certain degree, "dulls the senses" preventing action-taking on opportunities just beyond the "comfort zone". There is no tangible reason to ignore international and jurisdictional investment diversification.

"Home country bias can come at a heavy cost as it can significantly reduce portfolio diversification by increasing geographic, economic and sector concentration risks."

Taking the first step towards Switzerland

Naturally, a personal introduction, a recommendation from a trusted US advisor, a colleague or a family member already established in Switzerland helps to break the ice. However, US investors can take their own initiative too.

Swiss wealth managers focused on providing wealth management services, specifically discretionary and advisory investment management mandates, to US clients, are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. To get started, US investors can do their homework and read the SEC ADV Part 1 containing information about the Swiss wealth manager's businesse and if there have been problems with regulators or clients. Section D includes information on the foreign financial authorities the Swiss wealth manager is registered with. The ADV Part 2 Brochure describes, in a narrative format, the manager's business practices, fees, types of clients and more. Note: Before you hire an investment adviser, from the US or in Switzerland, always ask for, and carefully read, both parts of the Form ADV.

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Disclosure: My Swiss platform Americans Welcome introduces US investors to Swiss wealth management services. Swiss SEC-registered ...

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Susan Miller 11 months ago Member's comment

I have to admit, I have never even considered Switzerland as an option. Personally, I like the feeling of knowing I can meet with my wealth manager face to face if need be. But then again, I can't remember when the last time was that I actually did that.