What is a Wealth Manager?
A wealth manager is a financial adviser to the affluent, those individuals and families with a high net worth. Wealth managers often perform the same functions of other financial professionals, but the difference is that they are entrusted with more wealth to manage. Some of the functions include making recommendations on financial decisions, tax planning and preparation, and overseeing investments and assets to ensure growth and avoid loss. The American Academy of Financial Management offers a chartered wealth manager program in which financial professionals can learn the skills and acquire the knowledge required to manage wealthy assets and wealthy clients and obtain a chartered wealth manager designation. In some countries, a charted wealth manager is just the alternative designation given to a certified financial adviser.
Clients who hire wealth managers often expect them to act as a one-stop shop and consult with lawyers, accountants, and business managers in order to provide comprehensive services. That’s often because the services that high net worth individuals need are broad in scope, and financial advisers may not have the specific training and experience to carry out a specific task. For example, a tax attorney may be best suited to address tax planning and strategies, more so than a wealth manager.
The role of wealth managers is often to manage the relationships that are needed to help clients grow what they have and hold onto as much of their investments and assets as possible. Various programs, like the chartered wealth manager program offered by the American Academy of Financial Management, train financial advisers on how to acquire and manage those relationships. Some wealth management companies also strategically align themselves with one another to pool resources and experiences to meet the needs of their clients.
Business planning is also a service that a wealth management consultant may offer to clients. Some wealthy families run and operate family-run enterprises, and those companies need to be preserved and passed on to future generations. A wealth manager can help families grow their businesses, but also put succession planning in place so that the business continues beyond those presently involved with it. The manager may need to enlist the help of business professionals, such as business managers or business law attorneys, to help them meet the needs of their clients. Other individuals want to acquire or sell businesses, and a wealth manager can provide the advice needed for those decisions, as well as find the buyers and sellers.
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