Managing your investments is just the tip of the iceberg
- True wealth management entails much more than just investment consulting.
- Is your advisor coordinating a team of experts who are all working on your behalf?
- Are you getting the best possible advice about wealth enhancement, tax mitigation, wealth transfer, wealth protection and charitable giving?
- Is your advisor reaching out proactively on a regular basis, to review your plan, plug any holes and make adjustments as life circumstances change?
As a successful business owner, you have likely run into dozens of folks with the words “wealth management” on their business cards. But the term “wealth management” is one of the most over-used and misunderstood in the financial advisory world. Of the 140 financial advisors in our metro area, only 10 are Certified Financial Planners (CFP®s). Nationwide, only 6.6 percent of financial advisors are providing true wealth management services, according to a CEG Worldwide study of over 2,000 financial advisors.
Why are so few financial professionals providing comprehensive wealth management services to their clients?
- They don’t understand what true wealth management is.
- If they do, it takes a lot more time, knowledge and effort to implement than they’re willing to invest.
I like to use the formula: Wealth Management (WM) = IC + AP +RM
Let’s take each of these three components one at a time:
- Investment Consulting (IC): This is what most people think of when they look for a wealth advisors—someone who chooses and monitors their investments and determines the right allocation given their goals and risk tolerance.
- Advanced Planning (AP): This is not a standard offering. Advanced planning consists of four components: (a) Wealth Enhancement, (b) Wealth Transfer, (c) Wealth Protection and (d) Charitable Giving. Let’s take a closer look at the four components of advanced planning:
- Wealth enhancement is mitigating taxes by managing your investment portfolio strategically. It’s also about cash flow planning. When you start taking income from your portfolio, you need to consider the best way to deploy the cash flow. That includes the timing and use of your pension, social security and other sources.
- Wealth transfer is the best way to transfer funds to another family member, either during your lifetime or after you decease. It could be about avoiding probate, estate taxes or gift taxes.
- Wealth protection is a very important, but often overlooked component of wealth enhancement. When people build their nest egg, they have to ask themselves tough questions like, “What could rob me of my wealth?” It could be a bad stock market. It could also be death or disability. It could be a lawsuit or identity theft. We want to identify these risks together and mitigate them as much as possible.
- Charitable giving. If philanthropy is important to you, devising strategies to maximize your gift potential and your tax savings associated with those gifts.
- Relationship Management (RM): This consists of your relationship with your financial advisor as well as your relationship with all the experts on the advisor’s professional network who are working on your behalf.
- Client relationship is about determining what’s most important to you and identifying gaps in your financial plan that are preventing you from being successful. This is about having an advanced plan. It’s also about meeting with your advisor on a consistent basis—i.e. quarterly or semi-annually–to review your plan, plug any holes and make adjustments as life circumstances change.
- Professional network relationship consists of having an experienced wealth manager work closely with your CPA, attorney, insurance agent and other financial experts. You need a quarterback who can ensure that each professional’s efforts are coordinated on your behalf and are not conflicting with each other. Also, there are times when a wealth manager needs to go outside the core team and get second opinions (or perhaps more advanced strategies) from other professionals, whether those pros are local, national or from the wealth advisor’s home office.I have my own professional team consisting of a local estate attorney, a business CPA, and a property and casualty insurance agent. Every three months we review two actual client case studies from a 360-degree perspective. As part of that process, we view each aspect of the Advanced Plan. Each professional suggests solutions that I, as the wealth manager and quarterback of the team, then share with my clients. The client and I then determine which of the ideas is appropriate to implement. Generally clients will work with their existing professionals to implement the recommendations my team makes, but they are free to consult with the professionals on my team.
Complimentary Second Opinion Service
Everyone needs a second opinion to verify they are on the right track. As part of our complimentary Second Opinion Service we have two meetings with you to help determine whether or not you’re on the right track financially.
In the initial discovery meeting, we determine where you are now, where you want to be in the future and if there are any important gaps or holes in your plan. We take the two weeks to create an investment plan and then sit down with you again to identify those gaps.
There are three possible outcomes:
- Good work. You’re on the right path with your current advisor and financial plan.
- You have some holes. You need to make some changes, but for whatever reason, we’re not the right firm to help you. In that case, we’ll point you to another firm that might be a better fit.
- You have some holes, and we think we’re the right firm to help you fill those holes and bridge those gaps in your plan.
You need to spend your time doing what you do best–running your business. When it comes to your investments, taxes, wealth protection, retirement, family finances and charitable intentions, it’s not enough just to have a plan—you need to have a comprehensive and well-coordinated wealth management plan.
About the Author
Capital Developers, LLC dba Milestone Wealth Information is registered as an investment adviser and only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. Registration as an investment adviser does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by securities regulators and does not mean that the adviser has attained a particular level of skill or ability.
All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author on the date of publication and are subject to change. Content should not be viewed as personalized investment advice or as an offer to buy or sell the securities discussed. A professional adviser should be consulted before implementing any of the strategies presented. Content should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. The firm is not engaged in the practice of law or accounting.
All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment or strategy will be suitable or profitable for a client’s investment portfolio.