The Network Journal put together a recent article to try and break down the true nature of wealth management, dividing it into three major keys for people to keep in mind.
This article defines wealth management as ” keeping your financial house in order and possibly improving your financial situation,” but something so broad means it can be difficult to make sure that financial professionals you work with are actually giving you the help you need. The first facet of wealth management that the article brings up is investment consulting. This is probably the easiest to get help with, as the vast majority of financial advisors out there have the knowledge and skills to guide you to some degree. Here, the main thing to keep in mind is that depending on your situation, some may be more helpful than others.
The second step is advanced planning, and this is where getting good help can be a bit harder. It is one thing for a financial planner or advisor to recommend stocks, bonds or mutual funds, but this goes beyond that. Part of this does include growing investments for clients, but it also includes asset preservation, keeping assets from being nipped away at by taxation, fees, and other costs. The idea here, of course, it to ensure that more of your wealth is left to your loved ones rather than the government. These items include wealth enhancement, wealth transfer, asset preservation and charitable giving. If an advisor can’t help you with these areas, you may need to look elsewhere.
The third area of focus is relationship management. This takes some different forms. The first and more obvious one is the way financial professionals interact with clients. This means taking the time to understand the goals that a client has, so the planning can get off on the right foot. A simple “discovery meeting” can go a long way at the beginning of your time working together. The second aspect is the professional’s relationship with others in the field. There will be certain areas of expertise beyond your financial advisor’s field. What makes the great ones is that they have an extensive network of other professionals, and will have no problem pointing you in the right direction for more specific issues you may have.