We spend our entire lives trying to build wealth. We accumulate a pool of funds and investments that allows our children to go to college, enables our families to travel the world, and prepares us to finally retire with confidence.
But it’s not enough to save, socking money away and earning bare-minimum interest. You and your financial future are best served by managing your hard-earned dollars in such a way to ensure every financial goal you have becomes a financial reality.
For that, you need an extensive financial education, or in most cases a wealth manager. But not just any wealth manager will do. You need one who will make the most of your investments without playing fast and loose with your money. There are a lot of options out there, so how do you separate the good from the not-so-good?
To help, we’ve pulled together our list of the top qualities to look for in a wealth manager, starting with…
Integrity in the world of wealth management boils down to a commitment to do what’s best for clients, no matter what.
In many cases, wealth managers are compensated based on how much money they bring in to a firm — their so-called assets under management. That means it’s in their best interests to sell their services to a broad range of clients, regardless of whether or not they can serve them or serve them well. It also means you’ve got to be highly selective in who you choose to manage your money.
There are certain designations in the financial planning world that come with fiduciary responsibilities, such as the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. A CFP® is a good place to start because they are bound to certain ethical standards that ensure your interests are put first. But, a big part of determining integrity happens during your initial conversations. For example, does the wealth manager ask detailed questions about you and your goals? If the answer is “yes,” there’s a good chance you’ve found a wealth manager with integrity.
While we all want to increase our wealth, designing effective investment strategies involves more than just figuring out what vehicles will make you the most money as fast as possible.
Good wealth managers will take stock of your financial past, present and future. They will assess your financial goals and risk tolerance, and they will design a plan that gets you where you want to go, incurring as little risk as possible. They will also evaluate your tax situation and retirement accounts to make sure you are strategy is optimizing your potential gains while minimizing your tax liability and other expenses.
In the world at large, they call that situational awareness. At Meld Financial, we apply situational awareness with our knowledge of investing to build a comprehensive wealth management plan. A large part of this process is our proprietary program your Financial Finterprint™. Over the years, it has become core to how we work with our clients to help them achieve financial success.
Anyone can research the value of different vehicles and develop an opinion on what works best in a given financial situation. But you don’t really know until you’ve been there. That’s why you want a wealth manager with experience.
The past decade has been an interesting one in the world of wealth management. We’ve seen lows in the markets, followed by a strong recovery that has restored our faith in the financial system, albeit slowly. And it’s brought to light the critical importance of having a seasoned wealth manager by your side.
It’s easy to make someone money when things are going well. But what happens when things start to shift? That’s when experience becomes paramount in the world of wealth management. An experienced wealth manager will know when to invest and when to seek protection for those investments.
With that experience comes knowledge, which is vital to the wealth management process. There are countless ways for you to invest your money, with varying rates of return and levels of financial commitment. Good wealth managers invest their time to understand which investments are right for your specific situation. That involves continuing education, of course, but also research and analysis.
And in the best-case scenario, that pursuit of knowledge is fueled by passion and a commitment to making each client’s goals a financial reality.
A Team of Financial Professionals
Finding a good wealth manager is important. More important is finding a good wealth manager who’s part of an incredible team of financial professionals. After all, wealth management is a comprehensive service. To get your money’s worth, your wealth manager should have a team of experienced and capable advisors well-versed in everything from financial planning and tax planning, to estate and retirement planning.
With a strong team behind them, wealth managers can provide a comprehensive financial plan and get all aspects of your financial life aligned around a strategy for long-term success.
The right wealth manager for you is out there. To find him or her, you’ve got to know what you’re looking for. This list should set you on the right track.
Want to learn more about the team at Meld Financial and how we can help you achieve your financial goals? Click here to schedule a meeting that will kickstart a strong relationship and secure your financial future. If you’d rather take some time to learn on your own, visit our Meld University home page.