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How to Find Qualified Financial Advisors That Assist High-Net-Worth Individuals

With more money comes more responsibility. Having a lot of funds in cash or a long list of valuable assets in your name is a dream for most people. When this dream becomes a reality, it is your responsibility to preserve it and grow it further for your future financial security. Managing your wealth optimally is also important to protect your loved ones and future generations. This can only happen with sound financial planning and foresight.

Wealth management can be quite complex and elaborate for high-net-worth clients. With multiple types of investments, physical and virtual assets, liabilities, etc., managing such high sums of money can require professional help and guidance. However, finding the ideal professional can be an uphill task. Building confidence and reliability with a stranger can be hard. Moreover, trusting someone with your money is not an easy thing to do. But regardless of your reservations, it is in your own interest to hire a wealth advisor, as the absence of one can cost you your hard-earned money.

If you are looking for financial advisors for high-net-worth individuals, here’s a guide that can help you:

What type of financial advisor does a high-net worth individual need?

All high-net-worth individuals require a wealth advisor. So, the first and foremost thing to determine is whether or not you are a high-net-worth client. Generally, most wealth management firms consider individuals with funds amounting to a minimum of $1 million in liquid financial assets as a high-net-worth client. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requirements for Form ADV, an individual with at least $750,000 in investable assets or a net worth of $1.5 million can be categorized as a high-net-worth individual. Further, individuals with $5 million in liquid assets or more are called very high-net-worth individuals. If the value of your assets matches these limits, you can call yourself a high-net-worth individual. Moreover, if you fall in these wealth brackets, it also implies that you should seek out suitable high-net-worth financial advisors to manage your wealth.

The primary services that a wealth advisor can offer you will include:

  • Strategies to earn or generate more money: high-net-worth financial advisors can help you create more wealth. They can help you pick out suitable investments, recommend strategies to ace the market, take advantage of market fluctuations, diversify your portfolio, and do a lot more, so you can maximize your returns and keep generating more funds throughout your life.

  • Ways to protect your existing assets: Wealth advisors help you preserve your wealth. They can help you protect your assets from creditors, lawsuits, threats, and more. There comes a point in life when preserving your wealth becomes more important than generating new wealth. A wealth manager can step in and make this possible by suggesting strategies like storing excess income in offshore banks, setting up trusts, and more.

  • Planning your philanthropic activities: Many high-net-worth people carry out philanthropic activities as a way to give back to the society, create a positive public image, lower their taxes, etc. Regardless of the reason behind your philanthropic endeavors, you can take the help of a wealth advisor to plan these activities efficiently.

  • Tactics to manage your tax: Higher income groups are levied with higher tax rates. Therefore, it becomes essential to have efficient tax planning strategies in place to reduce the outflow of your money on taxes. Wealth managers for high-net-worth clients can recommend tax saving strategies, such as gifting or charity to lower inheritance tax and estate tax, tax loss harvesting to lower capital gains tax, and effective retirement planning approaches to cut down on tax in retirement.

How can you find suitable high-net-worth financial advisors?

Here are some ways to look for high-net-worth financial advisors:

  1. Take recommendations from family and friends: Reliable sources can be the best in matters involving money. You can consult family members or friends who are in the same income bracket as you for advice on hiring a suitable financial advisor. high-net-worth clients own a lot of assets and money. Therefore, trust plays a crucial role in the selection process. Your near and dear ones can recommend wealth managers based on their experience and understanding. Talk to people around you and schedule appointments with the managers they recommend. You can then select the best one from the people you interview.

  2. Search on the internet: Thanks to the internet, finding a credible wealth advisor is now easier than it ever was. You can look up different wealth management companies on the web. You can also check their reviews and ratings to get a clear idea of their work ethic and past performance. Search engines like Google offer dependable reviews for different wealth advising firms. This can be an easy way to check the credibility of a wealth manager. You can also narrow down your search to the area you reside in or the type of service you need. For instance, you may only require estate planning advice or tax planning advice. In this case, you can specifically search for an estate planner or a tax planner in your city.

  3. Take professional recommendations: Professional recommendations from colleagues, business partners, and clients can be another way to hire a wealth manager. If someone at work recommends a wealth management firm, make sure to visit its website and scroll through the services that the company offers. Check if the advising company has a mobile application that makes it easier to manage your money. Also, enquire about the present clients that the company is working with. This information may or may not be confidential, but if you are able to see a company’s present clients, you can get an idea about their client base, reach, and popularity.

What should you look for in high-net-worth financial advisors?

As a high-net-worth individual, you are bound to have distinct financial needs. Here are some things you should find out about a high-net-worth wealth advisor before hiring them:

  1. What is the value of the assets they have managed so far?
  2. It can help to find out the worth of other clients that a wealth advisor is managing to get an idea of their professional competence. If the wealth manager has handled clients with the same net worth as you or higher net worth than yours, you can rest assured that they will be able to manage your assets well. However, if you are the richest client to work with the advisor, the advisor may lack the required expertise and knowledge to effectively manage your wealth. Working with their first or only high-net-worth client can be overwhelming for the professional and may lead to errors.

  3. Is the wealth advisor a fiduciary?
  4. A fiduciary is legally bound to act in your interest over their own. As stated above, money matters can be tricky, especially when large volumes of money are involved. Therefore, a wealth advisor who is not a fiduciary may offer advice that benefits them more than you. However, a fiduciary financial advisor would be liable to place your interest at the highest pedestal. Before you hire a professional wealth manager, do find out if they are a fiduciary or not.

  5. How qualified and experienced is the professional?
  6. The qualifications and certifications of a wealth manager plays an integral role in their efficiency. Here are some certifications that you can look for in a professional wealth manager:

    • Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA)
    • Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)
    • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
    • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
    • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
    • Certified Trust and Financial Officer (CTFA)
    • Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM)

    In addition to this, it can be beneficial to inquire about their prior experience. The number of clients they have managed in total, the number of clients they can manage at the same time, the types of services they have provided in the past, their strengths, interests, areas of expertise, the number of years they have worked for, the retention rate of their clients, and more.

  7. Is the professional open to regular communication?
  8. Communication is key between a client and a wealth manager. The more you communicate, the clearer both parties can be about each other’s expectations and requirements. So, find out how often the wealth manager is willing to meet or discuss your goals, requirements, and wants over the phone or email. If you are someone who likes to be in constant touch, you must make this clear to the professional from day one. It can help to decide on a certain frequency of communication that is suitable to both you and your wealth advisor. This could be weekly, fortnightly, or even monthly.

  9. What is the wealth advisor’s fee?
  10. The costs involved are also a major consideration while hiring a wealth manager. So, make sure that you inquire about the financial advisor’s commissions, fees, and management expenses. Try to analyze how this impacts your profits. However, having said that, it may not be recommended to select a wealth manager only on the basis of costs. Instead, try to focus more on what the professional can bring to the table. Look at the long term benefits of hiring a wealth manager and how it can contribute to your capital growth and preservation.

  11. What is the business model of the wealth management firm?
  12. Find out if the wealth management firm you are hiring from is solely dedicated to wealth management services or not. Some banks and financial companies have branched out to offer wealth management services to high-net-worth clients. While these companies may offer the services you need, their primary business model would still be banking, financing, insurance, etc. Although there is no hard and fast rule here, a company whose primary business model is wealth management may be able to offer you better assistance than a company that offers wealth management services as a secondary service.

  13. What is their investment approach?
  14. A wealth management firm’s past investment performance, investment approach, and preference of investments should always match yours. Find out your wealth manager’s preferences. What do they prefer between active and passive investing, contrarian or opportunistic investment philosophy, etc.? Once you know this, share your risk appetite with the manager and make sure that their recommended strategies are well within your risk tolerance levels. Ultimately, your investment approach, future vision, and aspirations should align with your wealth manager’s. If there is a mismatch, you would not be able to see the kind of growth you wish. There could also be disagreements along the way that can lead to unpleasantness and financial stress.

    Remember that the hassle of hiring a wealth manager and then having to terminate your contract due to incompetence, disagreements, or lack of trust can be upsetting and cause a lot of inconvenience. All of this can be avoided if you diligently select a wealth manager that matches all your requirements. So, keep these questions in mind when you are meeting and interviewing wealth advisors and pick a professional only if you are completely certain of their caliber.

To summarize

High-net-worth financial advisors can simplify many things for you. However, it is important to first ascertain your own requirements, philosophies, and expectations, and then look for someone who can understand them well. As a high-net-worth client, hiring a wealth manager is essential to be able to safeguard your wealth and generate more income. A professional wealth advisor’s role in managing your money is pivotal. Therefore, it may be recommended to select a professional after careful and thorough research only.

If you are a high network client looking for professional guidance and advice, you can reach out to a financial advisor in your area.

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