The Investment Scientist

Consultative Process

To help our clients achieve all that is important to them, we use a consultative process to uncover needs on a continuous basis and then coordinate a team of experts to address them holistically. The chart below depicts our process.

Discovery Meeting (or Phone Call)

When a prospect approaches us, the first meeting we will have is called the discovery meeting (or the second opinion review meeting). During this meeting, we ask many questions to determine where the prospect is, what he or she wants to accomplish, what are the gaps and if we are the right advisor to help close the gaps. If not, we are happy to point the person in the right direction. If we determine that we can add substantial value for the prospect, we schedule a second meeting – the proposal meeting (or the investment plan meeting).

Proposal Meeting

During the proposal meeting, we present an investment plan personalized to the prospect’s specific situation. If the prospect likes the plan, we still do not want him or her to become a client right then. The prospect must schedule a third meeting with us – the mutual commitment meeting. We insist that the prospect take the plan home, read it carefully, and also reflect on our relationship before making a decision.

Mutual Commitment Meeting

During the mutual commitment meeting, we answer whatever remaining questions the prospect has. Once all questions are answered satisfactorily, we would mutually commit to working together in a long-term client-advisor relationship. At this meeting, the prospect becomes a client.

Fulfillment Meeting

One month after that, we hold a fulfillment meeting with the new client. In the meeting, we explain to the new client what we have done with his or her money initially and help him or her organize paperwork.

Wealth Management Meeting

At the same time, we take the new client’s profile (without identiy information) to our wealth management meeting where our team of experts gather to discuss our clients’ financial big picture. They make high level suggestions. We organize those suggestions into the client’s wealth management plan for our first regular progress meeting with client.

Regular Progress Meeting

We hold regular progress meetings with the client periodically update one another and to ensure the overall financial trajectory is on track to achieve all his or her goals.


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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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