1. Commonly applied past performance screens are totally useless. Managers are rarely as bad as you think they are when they underperform, nor are they as good as you might think when things are going well.

2. You are looking for a manager who can invest money wisely, not necessarily ones that present well. Don't confuse these two skills.

3. Don't overlook the importance of alignment of interests. Financially, what might interest your manager may not interest you.

4. Asset management is a competitive exercise. You must be able to identify a manager's competitive edge. If you can't, why do you think that the manager is any good?

5. Never forget point 1 above. Looking at performance league tables and charts tells you what happened yesterday and very little about what will happen tomorrow.

One bonus point thrown in at the last minute (with tongue only slightly in cheek) - over 95% of UK based funds run by asset managers beginning with the letter V will underperform.