A wealth management company addresses the needs of its clients by offering investment advisory services, usually along with a combination of other financial services as well. By gleaning information from the client, the advisor tailors a personalized financial strategy to accommodate desired goals.
Wealth management advisors are high-level professionals who utilize a wide spectrum of financial disciplines including financial and investment advice, tax services, legal and estate planning, general accounting, and retirement planning. In most cases, wealth management advisors charge their clients one set fee for all of the above.
Who Is Allowed to Call Themselves Wealth (Asset) Managers
As for education, most wealth managers have at least a bachelor's degree but quite often have a master's degree and highly specialized certifications in financial or business-related discipline. Examples include Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA).
In today's security conscious world, it is important to know who is allowed to advertise themselves as "wealth managers" or "asset managers." According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), those legally licensed to work in the following professions can act as a wealth manager.
- Investment Advisors
- Insurance Agents
- Financial Planners
- Attorneys (JD)
- Accountants (CPA)
Understanding the Meaning of Wealth Management
Wealth management encompasses every part of an individual's financial life, which makes it much more than merely investment advice. For high net worth individuals, the holistic approach provided by a single wealth manager is far more beneficial than attempting to integrate pieces of information from various professionals, all of which are using different products.
In theory, the use of a wealth manager is based on the assumption that they are capable of providing services in any area of the financial field. However, some wealth managers have chosen to focus on a particular area for whatever reason.
For this reason, a wealth management advisor may have to coordinate with outside financial experts, which may also include the client's outside agents (fiduciary, accountants, attorneys, etc.), to craft an optimal strategy.
Services Offered by Wealth Management Companies Overall
While wealth management firms may pick and choose the kinds of services they offer, a general theme can be observed across the industry as a whole. Below is a list of basic services offered by most wealth management companies overall.
"Tax planning" is the process of analyzing one's financial situation or financial plan from a tax perspective. When a wealth manager is designing a tax plan for their client, they want to ensure the client's overall financial strategy is tax efficient, so no unexpected issues arise.
Tax planning is at the top of the list because it is the most essential aspect of a successful financial plan. Wealth managers take several things into consideration when creating a tax plan:
- Timing of income
- Type of income
- Size of income
- Timing of purchases
- Unexpected expenditures
- Selection of investments
- Type of retirement plan (if any)
The second crucial aspect of wealth management is creating a robust investment strategy that coincides with the client's overall financial goals, both short and long term. Furthermore, such investment plans must be in line with the client's financial resources.
However, such planning should only begin once the client has a clear picture of what their financial goals and objectives are. Out of the thousands of investment types out there, cash, property, bonds, and equities are still the most popular.
Retirement planning involves determining income goals such as implementing a savings program, managing assets, estimating expenses and identifying steady sources of income. With retirement planning, future cash flows have to be estimated in order to determine if retirement goals can be achieved.
Other than the financial standpoint, a holistic approach to planning one's retirement includes lifestyle planning. For example, how will time be spent during retirement, where will it be spent, as well as when to completely stop working.
A complete wealth management plan will help you map all these things out and more. For further assistance, contact us here at Caldwell Trust Company and allow our team of financial experts to assist you with your wealth management and estate planning.