1. Definition of wealth management
Wealth management can be defined as high-level professional service that combines financial and/or investment advice and accounting and/or tax advice, retirement planning as well as legal/estate planning for a fee. Clients, who are usually high net worth individuals work with a single wealth manager who coordinates input from financial experts and it is common that a wealth manager usually coordinates with client’s own attorney, accountants, and even insurance agents. Furthermore, there are wealth managers that provide different private banking services.
Usually, wealth managers have different but yet similar backgrounds as independent Chartered Financial Consultants, Certified Financial Planners or Chartered Financial Analysts or any other credentials such as an MBA. Professional money managers work to enhance the income, growth and tax-favored treatment of long-term investors.
2. Wealth management services
In general, wealth management is much more than just a simple investment advice as it can often include all parts of a person’s financial life. The idea behind having a wealth manager is that high net worth individuals benefit from a holistic approach in which a single manager can coordinate all the service the client needs, from money management to investment advice.
A wealth manager starts by developing a plan that will include the growth of client’s wealth based on individual’s financial situation, goals and comfort level with a certain risk, of course. After the plan has been developed, the manager meets with his or hers client to update on goals, review or even rebalance the portfolio, investigate any possible risks and offer some additional services like estate planning, accounting, tax advice, etc.
Since wealth managers are usually a part of a wealth-management firms, with instant access to a team of in-house experts in the fields of accounting, taxes, estate planning, analysis, etc. Sometimes, wealth managers work as solo practitioners and they rely on their own network of different experts.
3. Wealth management software
In general, it is hard to keep track of all the clients and their needs. Therefore, there is some very complicated wealth management software that help the manager or the firm to keep track of everything.
If you want to pay thousands of dollars, there is an array of options you can choose from. Some of the software are MarketRiders who describe themselves as web-based investment management software that lets you build and manage your dream portfolio. Some of the advantages are no management fees, lower general fees, and taxes. Of course, a disadvantage could be that it is a paid software after all. Another software is FC Portfolio, iBalance, OASIS, etc. Than again, all of these options are paid ones and by now you must be asking yourself is there a free option. Of course there is!
The free option is called Wikinvest and it does most of the things the paid software do. It also fixed the data standardization, sync with your brokerage and in a dead-simple fashion, again, it’s free. It even has real-time data pushed directly to your PC from over 500 different sources. Unfortunately, it is not designed for multiple clients, but if you are looking something for a personal use, I think it does more than a good job.
4. Wealth management firms
If you are looking for a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) but you don’t know where to start, look no further.
Meridian IQ and CNBC have teamed up and come together with a list of top wealth management firms.
They factored in several metric such as financial advisor ranking, assets under management, a number of experienced professionals such as CFA or CFP, numbers of years in the business and of course, the past five years of annualized growth.
Some of the largest management firms in the world are Creative Planning, Halbert Hargrove, Wescott Financial Advisory Group, Burt Wealth Advisors and Point View Wealth Management. These are only the top five wealth management firms.
5. Wealth management careers and opportunities
There are lots of lots of potential career in wealth management to choose from. This includes anything from customer service and relationship to management jobs in product development. Many of the big banks such as HSBC, Barclays and others are looking for talented experienced professionals as well as graduates and interns to work with them as future wealth managers. They are supported by a range of specialist teams, which work in the following areas:
• Strategy and planning – strategy and planning team usually analyzes market opportunities and risks to identify a potential source of income for a client. They also review performance plans, which include business transformation initiatives and works with finance teams to produce monthly and quarterly reporting.
• Digital banking – the digital team is responsible for managing the internet services as well as mobile applications.
As a wealth manager, you can work in wealth management, of course, global asset management and even in insurance companies.
As you can see, wealth management is a branch that is worth pursuing. You will need to be college educated, have a special “paper” as in a form of CFP or a CPA.
We have learned that wealth managers deal in investing and tax advice, estate planning, etc. In general, the people who are in need of wealth managers are high net worth individuals who will know how to capitalize on their use. Of course, wealth managers are not free and you have to pay a certain amount of fee.
There is an array of options to aid you in the portfolio management that come in a form of wealth management software.