Scoping out the right investment partner should be treated as carefully as finding your partner in life. You should strive to achieve a bond so invincible and harmonious, even Batman and Robin would be envious.
Ultimately, it all comes down to how you and your partner fall on various issues. Ask yourself, is this person a risk taker? What are their core capabilities? How do they intend to achieve their goals? What is their business style? Why would this person be a good fit?
Much like a first date, it’s not always easy to ask the big questions right off the bat. However, if you go in prepared, it’s easy to strike the big items off the list. If you get red flags along the way trust your first instinct. There is a long list of destructive and stressful partnerships as reminder to be careful.
Here’s a quick list of traits to look for in a prospective investment partner to get you started:
Look for someone who can bring something new to the table.
An investment partner should offer a bounty of experience and a breadth of knowledge. Your partner should be able to bring something new to the table to compliment your skills and experiences.
It’s important to understand that your capability as an investor is limited without the assistance of a partner. If you’re the wunderkind of financing, but struggle to form the public face of your investment enterprise, consider finding someone that can assist.
Look for someone whose goals align with your own.
Articulate your goals to your prospective partner and see how he or she responds. Sure, a return on investment is the primary goal, but go deeper. How has this person invested their money in the past and what are they pursuing now? Why?
Let this topic set the stage for an honest discussion about your goals. Ultimately, you’re going to want to be sure that you both share the same intentions for the future – it’s the crucial foundation you’ll need to develop a strong bond.
Look for someone who’s creative.
Keep an eye out for entrepreneurial spirit. Investing is a risky game and it’s best played when you and your partner are thinking on your toes. It takes creativity to land unique opportunities and appropriately respond to the natural woes of investing.
Ask your prospective partner how he or she would handle a tough situation and try to pull in real-world problems you may encounter as partners. This will be your chance to gauge their ability to uphold ethical business practices, among other important things.
Beware of individuals that are creative in the wrong way, meaning they opt to cut corners to get by. In business, there’s always a smart solution to get ahead.
Look for someone who’s financially secure.
It may seem too personal, but it’s a question you just have to ask. What financial commitments must they attend to outside of work? Are they obligated to pay substantial housing, loans, child support or more? How do they balance that with a career in investing?
Your partner should have a firm hold on their finances. It’s a reflection of their ability to manage financial assets. If something that basic can’t be achieved, it’s time to move on.
Look for someone that makes you say “this works.”
If all goes well, your investment partner is likely to become a close confidant, so choose wisely. Once you’ve asked all the tough questions and it still feels right, you’ve found the one.
Stefanie Donahue is a freelance writer based in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a well-versed communicator with an extensive background in journalism and media production. Her writing draws from the insight of industry experts to uncover best practices for real estate investors.