Wealth management: what is it, and do you need it?
It’s a familiar phrase, but what exactly does wealth management mean, and would you benefit from it? We take a close look at the definition and the details.
What is wealth management?
Wealth management incorporates a range of expert advice and financial services. By talking to their client, a wealth manager learns exactly what they need and their financial status before tailoring a highly personalized plan that uses a carefully picked range of products and services.
Numerous factors are considered and assessed, such as investments, estate planning, accounting, taxation and retirement. So far, so good, but what does all this achieve?
What does wealth management do?
Firstly, wealth management is much more than just investment advice. It concerns every part of your financial life and integrates them through the efforts of a single wealth manager. It’s about coordinating the services needed to manage your assets and creating a strategic plan for all current and future financial needs.
You’ll find that wealth managers can help you in most aspects of finance, but some specialize in particular areas, such as international wealth management. The processes involved in making the most of your assets include coordinating with other specialists, including perhaps other service professionals such as attorneys or accountants. The primary aim is to shape a secure and efficient strategy that benefits you and your hard-earned dollars and assets.
What are the different types of wealth managers?
Wealth managers can occupy different positions in small-scale specialist firms or larger businesses associated with the finance industry. They can have various job titles, such as a financial consultant or financial advisor. However, most wealth managers will provide a wide and diverse range of advice, support and practical help.
You might receive services from a single, designated wealth manager, or you may have access to members of a specialist wealth management team – each with their own area of expertise.
Inevitably, expertise varies between firms. If an investment company employs your wealth manager, they will likely be adept at building an investment strategy. But if they work for a large bank, they may focus more on managing trusts, estate planning, insurance, and credit options.
Wealth management: an example of how it works
Imagine a client has $2 million in assets, plus a trust for the grandchildren and a partner who has recently passed away.
A wealth manager will not only help to invest the funds prudently, but they will also offer will and trust fund services to help minimize tax burden and create effective estate planning.
Do I need a wealth manager?
There are no fixed rules about how much net worth you need to require a wealth manager. Each firm will set its minimum levels regarding investable assets and net worth.
So, do you need a wealth manager?
If you are a mid-to-high-net-worth individual, then a wealth manager can provide a mix of highly personalized investment expertise, financial planning, tax and accounting services, estate management, legal services and retirement planning that could be very beneficial over the years.
How much does wealth management cost?
Naturally, the exact costs vary between firms and are shaped by your individual needs, but they are usually fee- or commission-based.
Fee-based managers charge you a flat fee and a percentage of your assets under management (AUM).
With commission-based fees, your wealth manager earns money by buying and selling certain investment products on your behalf, such as mutual funds or annuities. This approach is becoming less popular because there is a strong potential incentive to make decisions that aren’t necessarily in your best interest.
It’s important to look carefully at how a wealth manager charges and how their fee structure works if you decide that wealth management is for you.
How to find a wealth manager
When taking on a wealth manager, you must ensure they’re a good fit for you, your assets, your objectives, and your family. Here are some key questions to ask when deciding:
Firstly, does the wealth manager work with clients like you? They often focus on specific client types, so make sure you’re on their radar.
Next, what qualifications does the wealth manager have? You’re looking for professional designations such as CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CPA (Certified Public Accountant), and CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst).
Just how much experience do they have in wealth management?
What is the range of services offered by their firm?
What types of fees or commission do they charge?
Are they independent or part of a bigger organization?
How often will they communicate with you?
Unbiased can help you find the right expert to help manage your finances. Take our five-minute survey, and an expert will contact you within 48 hours to arrange your first free consultation. You can get started here.
The bottom line
Wealth managers can offer a very personalized and holistic range of services.
There are many to choose from, keeping a clear picture of your aims and objectives and asking the right questions can help you find the right fit. Unbiased can also help simplify the process by cutting through the noise and finding your perfect match. Get in touch today.
Senior Content Writer
Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.