Photo of Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO May 03, 2022

Are you looking for a partner to help increase your wealth and reach your financial goals? If so, you need professionals you can depend upon. There are many things to consider when hiring a financial advisor, and every investor has different needs. Advances in technology and communications make it easier than ever to find suitable financial advisors located all over the U.S.

When choosing an investment firm, where they are located isn’t necessarily the question you should be asking. The biggest difference between a local firm and a national firm is in their approach. The question you should be asking yourself is whether you need a personalized, service-oriented approach to managing your investments, or a more detached approach that is driven by products and promotions. 

Investors in the Tampa, Florida, area may have a difficult time choosing between a local investment firm or a large national firm. It may seem very convenient to choose a large firm that automates many of its services. But is that necessarily the best choice for your investments?

What are the main advantages of a local Tampa investment firm?

Experts agree that there are several advantages a local firm can offer that a national firm cannot. According to CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, here are five advantages to working with local Tampa investment firms that many investors often overlook.

1. Personalized service —National firms that manage trillions of dollars are typically designed to standardize the advice and product recommendations that they offer. They then sell these prepackaged investment plans to as many people as possible. Even though every investor’s situation may be different, there is usually a plan that fits their general needs. These investment advisors will also earn compensation based upon selling as many of these plans as they can. This helps multiply their profits, but it does not help you multiply yours.

There is also little chance that you will be working with the same investment advisor for long. Advisors at nationwide investment firms are usually looking at how to get their next big promotion and move on to handle bigger and more prestigious accounts. 

This could happen six months down the road, or three years from now. But, when this happens, you’ll be introduced to a new face who was just promoted to be handling your account.

Working with a local investment firm in Tampa will put your investments in the hands of someone much more likely to be focused on you and your needs. Instead of trying to climb the corporate ladder, they can take the time to address your individual needs and concerns. Truly personalized, service-based financial advice is an advantage that local investment firms can offer.

2. Fiduciary standard —A fiduciary standard requires an advisor to put the clients’ interests above their own. Advisors at the large national firms will often receive some of their compensation based on selling you a particular investment product. This could include many different stocks, bonds, mutual funds or annuities. But this creates an inherent conflict of interest that oftentimes is not allowed under the fiduciary standard.

3. Face-to-face interactions — Most investors these days are comfortable conducting all their business online. But there will inevitably be times when you may want to meet the people who are helping you accomplish your financial goals. Being able to meet with your investment advisors face-to-face is incredibly important. This is especially important before you make the decision to do business with them.

It should be possible to personally meet with your investment advisors, whether that is dropping into their office to see them in person, or taking the time to schedule a video call to have a conversation with them. A local Tampa investment firm will be able to accommodate whatever method works best for you.

4. Hand-picking your advisors — When you can meet with a local investment firm in person, you can be better equipped to determine if they are the right fit for your financial needs. If you have specific financial goals in mind and have found some candidates who appear to offer the services you need, it is time to meet them. 

During your initial meeting, you should come with some questions. Bring writing materials to take good notes during your meeting. This will help you keep track of their responses and compare them against your other candidates.

Some questions you may want to ask include:

  • What kind of experience do you have as an investment advisor?
  • What are your credentials?
  • Do you always act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice?
  • Do you have any areas of specific expertise?
  • What kinds of services do you recommend to your clients and why?
  • How will you communicate investment performance with me?
  • Have you ever been disciplined by the SEC, FINRA, or other state or federal regulators?
  • Have you ever had your license revoked?

5. Holistic investing —A local firm that is truly invested in growing your investments will be able to offer you a more holistic approach. Because they have taken the time to get to know you, learn your goals and address your concerns, they can help you to make better investment decisions.  

Smarter planning will significantly improve your long-term success. The reason for this is that an investment strategy looks at all the areas that can affect your retirement goals. This includes not just your investments, but your pensions, Social Security, expenditures and tax exposure. A local Tampa investment firm should be interested in more than just investment returns.

How should I choose a local investment firm in Tampa?

ProVise Management Group, a Clearwater-headquartered financial planning and investment management firm, has been recognized as one of the Tampa Bay area’s top investment services firms by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

In a list of firms ranked by assets under management in offices based locally, in 2021 the publication included ProVise at No. 13 with $1.6 billion. ProVise’s inclusion on the list is just the latest of many for the firm. ProVise has repeatedly garnered recognition from the Tampa Bay Business Journal as well as other local and industry outlets for its work.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reviewed investment firms throughout its coverage area across west and central Florida. This includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

“We take great pride in being headquartered in the Tampa Bay area, and we’re ecstatic to once again be included in a list of the top local investment firms,” said V. Raymond Ferrara, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and chair and chief compliance officer of ProVise. “We’ve experienced tremendous growth in recent years, both with the opening of a new office and the addition of new professionals to our organization, and we’re looking forward to what the future has in store.”

ProVise works with more than 1,100 clients in over 30 states. ProVise specializes in financial planning, including:

  • Wealth planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Portfolio construction
  • Philanthropic and charitable giving
  • Estate and trust planning

The first ProVise office opened more than 30 years ago in Clearwater, where its flagship location still stands. In November 2018, the firm expanded its presence by adding a second office locally in Tampa’s Westshore District.

Talk to a ProVise CFP® professional about working with a local investment firm in Tampa

At ProVise Management Group, our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals can get to know you and your current financial circumstances, goals, risk tolerance and personal values to help you develop a plan that works for you. We can also create a written plan for you at a fiduciary standard of care. All our written plans come with an unconditional money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with your written plan, you can return it to us, and we will refund 100% of the fee paid.

ProVise Management Group has delivered exceptional investment firm services in the Tampa area for more than three decades. Our team of financial experts believe that financial success consists of small decisions throughout your lifetime, and we are committed to guiding you through each of these decisions to help you reach your financial goals.

Are you ready to talk to a professional about the future of your investments? Contact ProVise today to schedule a complimentary consultation.