A Wealth Management Primer

A Wealth Management Primer

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When you hear the term “wealth management” you may think of stocks, bonds, residential and commercial real estate, foreign exchange and a host of other terms familiar with high-wage individuals. Well, you are correct, but there is much more about wealth management than simply identifying investments. Indeed, wealth management is composed of the services of a wealth manager for the affluent individual, with customized services and products at the ready.

Wealth management is typically a specialized service offered by the major banks to high net-worth individuals. This service is wide open too, meaning that a wealth manager will endeavor to provide every possible financial product available.

In times past, banks did not provide this service, as commercial banking laws restricted what type of investment vehicles they could recommend. That’s all changed now and for the betterment of the investor.

Qualified, Professional Manager

So, how does wealth management work? Well, through banks that offer this service, qualified customers may be reached directly by the bank and offered the opportunity for personalized or concierge services. This does not mean that individuals who currently are not being served by the bank cannot be be served — if you have a portfolio that you would like to have managed, then the bank’s wealth management service is available to you.

More often than not, a customer will meet with a wealth manager to discuss a particular need. This may include retirement planning, investment banking, college funding or any other concern. Here, the wealth manager will listen to the customer, discover his needs and desires, and recommend the appropriate financial products.

And not just any banker is chosen to serve as a wealth manager. Given that the client base has the resources to speak to any professional with the expertise to provide financial advice, the wealth manager must have equivalent experience to help his or her clients. Certainly, most such professionals are also financial advisors and have extensive experience in both the banking and investment industries. Still others may have another specialty under their belts, such as real estate investments, commercial lending, or foreign exchange.

Wealth Manager Considerations

When working with a wealth manager, there are several matters that should be addressed.

First, maintain sufficient liquidity. Your wealth manager wants to make your money work for you, but she also must ensure that you have enough liquidity on hand. How much liquid assets you require varies from individual to individual. Your level should be constant with your needs.

Second, a specific goal should be identified. Your wealth manager wants you to reach your financial goals. Those goals cannot be met if they are not enumerated. A goal should be actionable as well as achievable.

Third, your strategy must be for the long term. Short-term goals are important, but wealth is built through a long-term strategy. Just as there is no real “get rich quick strategy” there are strategies that will help you reach your goal over the long term.

Achieving Financial Peace

Ultimately, the wealth manager will enable you to achieve financial peace. This means your goals will be reasonable, actionable, manageable and achievable. Indeed, anything less and you are likely to be disappointed by the results. Moreover, anything other than a comprehensive investment strategy will simply not fulfill your investment needs.

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