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wealth management

Wealth Management

A variety of investment solutions are available to help individuals achieve their financial goals. An experienced wealth management adviser can help an individual decide on the right mix of investment solutions given that person’s risk and return. The field of wealth management is diverse, but it gives individuals the opportunity to get advice on every aspect of their financial life.


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What is wealth management?

Wealth management is a field that helps individuals balance income and lifestyle. Some people need to save for retirement, while others want advice to maximise the return on their portfolio. People have varying long-term needs and goals, and a capable and knowledgeable wealth management adviser can greatly increase the chances of achieving these needs and goals.

The first component of wealth management is planning. There are a variety of challenges that people think about when making a financial plan, but the four main challenges are: wealth enhancement, wealth transfer, wealth protection, and charitable planning. Wealth enhancement is the process of optimising how much money an individual earns through maximising returns and minimising taxation. Wealth transfer is passing down wealth to heirs upon death. Wealth protection is preventing one’s hard earned wealth from being unjustly taken from him or her. Charitable planning is saving money and leveraging one’s wealth to make an impact on the world. These four concerns are fairly common among people, and it is crucial for a wealth management adviser to understand the degree to which people desire these different concerns, in order to make a sound financial plan.

After a wealth management adviser has thoroughly planned and understood an individual’s degree of risk and return, needs, and goals, the next step is investment consulting. The wealth management adviser must find out and explain the best portfolio allocation to achieve the plan that the adviser and advisee developed together. In a portfolio, a variety of investment solutions can be weighted in different ways to achieve the client’s desired levels of returns and risk. A wealth management adviser must have the financial expertise to both plan and invest on behalf of an individual. If they are only good at one of these skills, then they are not fit to advise another person on financial decisions.


The Benefits of Using a Wealth Manager


Curated Portfolio Allocation Strategy

Wealth managers have experience in not only differentiating between good and bad investments, but also finding the proper allocation of assets for each individual that fits his or her needs.

Field Expertise

Wealth managers know the best way to maintain wealth. They can help plan for tax optimisations and even plan out the passing of assets to the next generation. As they understand the ins and outs of regulation, they can best save money through their field expertise.

Access to Private Investments

Wealth managers can help gain access to investment vehicles that are not publically available.

Main Types of Investment Solutions


Stocks

Stocks are securities that represent a partial ownership or interest in a company. They are traded publicly on the stock exchange, so they are highly liquid solutions as they can easily convert back to cash. An investor can choose companies that they believe will grow and pursue capital gains on the increase in the firm’s share price.

Bonds

Bonds are fixed-income instruments in which investors loan out money to an entity and is paid back over a defined time period with a set interest rate. Bonds are categorised based on their bond rating, which indicates its credit quality. There are a wide variety of bonds including treasury bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds, and each bond has its own unique risk-reward profile.

Exchange-Traded Funds

An ETF (exchange-traded fund) is usually made up of securities, bonds, commodities, an index and/or a basket of assets. An ETF is traded on a public exchange, so it is priced throughout the day like a stock. For this reason, ETFs are highly liquid. As ETFs are made up of a variety of underlying assets, they can easily track economic trends. Diversification within ETFs also reduces risk.

Mutual Funds

Similar to ETFs, mutual funds are investment vehicles operated by professional money managers. Mutual funds includes a wide range of underlying asset’s depending on the fund’s goals. Unlike an ETF that trades throughout the day, mutual funds only trade at the end of the day, and are thus less liquid than ETFs.

Alternative Investments

These include non-traditional investment vehicles such as hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate, and derivatives. As alternative investments are more private, they are less liquid and are meant for investments over a longer time horizon.

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Key Terms to Understand.

Liquidity

The degree to which how quickly and easily an asset can be turned into cash. An investor has to consider liquidity depending on the time horizon of your investment.

Asset Allocation

Investment strategy that arranges many assets at varying weights. This strategy can be used to change the desired goals, risk tolerance, and potential return of a portfolio.

Volatility

The degree to which the price of an asset fluctuates. Essentially, the more volatile an asset is, the riskier the investment.

Hedge

An investment that reduces the risk of negative price movements in an asset. Wealth Managers will hedge investments against each other to increase the risk-reward profile of a portfolio.

Diversification

An investment strategy in which money is allocated in a portfolio across a variety of different investment solutions. This minimises the risk that one or two investments will cause the whole portfolio to lose money. Diversification strategies have low risk but also lower returns.

Concentration

An investment strategy in which a portfolio is allocated into similar asset classes. Because the price movements of these assets are very similar and correlated with each other, a concentrated portfolio has a higher risk but also potentially a higher reward than a diversified portfolio.

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FAQ's

Everything you need to know about wealth management

Yes. Wealth managers can provide assurance that you will make the correct financial decisions to achieve your future needs and desires. Obviously wealth managers do charge for their professional financial advice, but a wealth management firm that recognises your tolerance for risk and return and financial plan will help you remain comfortable with your financial state.

This is not recommended, as wealth managers have expertise in their field that allows them to achieve the highest capital gains possible. Wealth managers have expertise in tax optimisation, and understanding the tax laws on different types of investments can be complex and cost you money if not understood properly. Some wealth managers also have other resources, such as access to more private investment vehicles that can help expand a client’s investment opportunities.

Wealth managers can accommodate a wide range of clients. Some wealth management firms such as larger banks have a minimum required investment amount, but any individual can find a wealth management firm that is right for them, regardless of the size of the investment.

No. Some wealth management firms offer many financial services beyond financial planning and investment. Also, some wealth management firms simply advise and do not actually invest an individual’s money, while other firms have complete control over one’s money.

A good wealth management firm will accommodate changes in your lifestyle. If you have a change in your needs or desires, you should talk to your wealth manager about it. He or she should be able to adapt your plan and portfolio to major changes. Do not waste his or her time explaining every minor change that happens, but if your financial state or outlook changes, let your wealth management firm know.

The normal fee for wealth managers is usually a small percentage of around 1-1.5% of assets under management per year. As a client puts in more money, the percentage that wealth managers take declines. If you have a good wealth manager, then this small fee will be greatly outweighed by the return that these wealth managers get on your portfolio. It is important to understand the fees and expected return before entering into an agreement with a wealth manager; however, most are very transparent about the costs and return.

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