Wealth management is a comprehensive approach to managing one’s financial assets and goals. It encompasses a range of services, including financial planning, investment management, tax planning, and estate planning. Wealth management can be particularly useful for high net worth individuals and families looking to protect and grow their wealth over time. In this article, we will explore what wealth management is, what wealth managers charge, and how to find the right wealth manager for your needs.
What Is wealth management?
Wealth management is an all-encompassing financial service that helps individuals and families manage and grow their wealth over time. It is a holistic approach to financial management that takes into account a range of factors, including income, expenses, investments, taxes, insurance, and estate planning.
Wealth management can include a range of services, such as:
- Financial planning: This involves developing a comprehensive financial plan that takes into account your goals, risk tolerance, and current financial situation.
- Investment management: This involves managing your investments, including selecting investments that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance, monitoring your portfolio, and rebalancing your portfolio as needed.
- Tax planning: This involves developing a tax-efficient investment strategy, maximizing tax deductions, and minimizing tax liabilities.
- Estate planning: This involves developing a plan for how your assets will be distributed after you pass away, and minimizing estate taxes.
Understanding wealth management
Wealth management is particularly useful for high net worth individuals and families who have complex financial needs. High net worth individuals generally have more assets and more complex financial situations than the average person, and as a result, they require more specialized financial advice and management.
Wealth management is often provided by a team of professionals, including financial advisors, investment managers, tax professionals, and estate planning attorneys. This team approach ensures that all aspects of a client’s financial situation are taken into account when making financial decisions.
Example of wealth management
Let’s say you’re a high net worth individual with a net worth of $10 million. You want to make sure that your assets are protected and that you’re maximizing your returns. A wealth manager would work with you to develop a comprehensive financial plan that takes into account your goals, risk tolerance, and current financial situation. They would then develop an investment strategy that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance, and would monitor your portfolio and make adjustments as needed. They would also work with you to develop a tax-efficient investment strategy and an estate plan that minimizes estate taxes.
Wealth management firms can be structured in different ways, each with its own pros and cons.
- Private banks: Private banks provide wealth management services to high-net-worth individuals, families, and institutions. Private banks may also offer investment banking and commercial banking services. One of the benefits of working with a private bank is the level of service and expertise they can offer, but they may have higher fees and require higher account minimums.
- Independent wealth management firms: Independent wealth management firms are not affiliated with a bank or other financial institution. They offer personalized advice and investment management services to individuals and families. Working with an independent wealth management firm can offer more personalized service, but their fees may be higher than those of a robo-advisor or discount broker.
- Broker-dealers: Broker-dealers are firms that buy and sell securities for their clients. They may also offer wealth management services. Working with a broker-dealer can offer access to a wide range of investment products, but they may not offer the level of personalized service that a private bank or independent wealth management firm can provide.
- Robo-advisors: Robo-advisors use algorithms to provide investment advice and management services to clients. They offer low fees and may have lower account minimums than traditional wealth management firms, but they may not offer the level of personalized service that some clients prefer.
Fees for a wealth manager
Wealth management fees can vary widely depending on the firm and the services provided. Most firms charge a percentage of assets under management (AUM), typically ranging from 1% to 2% per year. For example, a wealth manager charging 1.5% AUM fees would charge $15,000 per year to manage a $1 million portfolio.
Other fees that may be charged include:
- Financial planning fees: Some firms may charge a one-time fee for creating a financial plan or ongoing fees for plan updates.
- Trading fees: Wealth managers may charge fees for trading securities within a portfolio.
- Custodian fees: Custodian fees are charged by the firm holding the client’s assets.
- Account minimums: Some firms may require a minimum account size, which can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
It’s important to understand all fees associated with a wealth management relationship before signing on with a firm.
Wealth managers may hold various credentials that demonstrate their expertise and experience. Some common credentials include:
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP): CFPs are certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and have passed an exam covering topics such as retirement planning, estate planning, and investment management.
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): CFAs are certified by the CFA Institute and have passed a series of exams covering investment analysis and portfolio management.
- Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC): ChFCs are certified by the American College of Financial Services and have completed coursework covering financial planning, insurance, and investment management.
Wealth management strategies can vary widely depending on the client’s goals, risk tolerance, and other factors. Some common strategies used by wealth managers include:
- Asset allocation: Asset allocation involves dividing a portfolio among different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash. This strategy can help to manage risk and potentially increase returns.
- Diversification: Diversification involves spreading investments across different sectors and geographic regions. This strategy can help to reduce risk and potentially increase returns.
- Tax optimization: Tax optimization involves minimizing taxes on investment gains and income. This can involve using tax-advantaged accounts or strategic tax-loss harvesting.
- Estate planning: Estate planning involves creating a plan for the distribution of assets after death. This can involve creating trusts, naming beneficiaries, and other strategies.
Wealth management FAQs
Here are some common questions about wealth management:
What is the difference between wealth management and investment management?
Wealth management includes investment management, but it also includes other services, such as financial planning, estate planning, and tax planning.
Who needs wealth management?
Wealth management is suitable for individuals with significant assets or complex financial needs. It can help individuals manage their wealth, plan for the future, and minimize taxes.
How do I choose a wealth manager?
When choosing a wealth manager, consider their credentials, experience, fees, and investment philosophy. It is also essential to ensure that the wealth manager’s values and goals align with yours.
How much does wealth management cost?
Wealth management fees vary depending on the wealth manager and the services provided. Wealth managers typically charge an asset-based fee, which can range from 0.5% to 2% of assets under management per year.
- Wealth management is a professional service that helps individuals manage their wealth, plan for the future, and minimize taxes.
- Wealth managers offer a range of services, such as financial planning, investment management, estate planning, and tax planning.
- Wealth managers can work for banks, brokerage firms, or independent firms, and they charge fees based on a percentage of assets under management.
- When choosing a wealth manager, consider their credentials, experience, fees, investment philosophy, and values.
View Article Sources
- What Can You Do with a Financial Planning & Wealth Management Degree? – University of Delaware Lerner College of Business & Economics
- Financial Wealth Management Degree – Suffolk University Sawyer Business School
- Financial Planning and Wealth Management – George Mason University School of Business
- Wealth Management: Theory & Practice – Yale School of Management Executive Education