Wealth Management: Be Prudent

Insurance industry veteran Sandi Saksena talks about how to select the right wealth management team for your business.

 

You’ve done all the right things. You’ve made money, invested wisely, saved, and been smart with your income. But here’s your challenge: You have too little time on your hands to manage your wealth properly. What do you do? Well, if you want to handle your wealth like a pro, hand the reigns over to a money management team.

 

With the growing number of players entering this field, marketing their umbrellas of professional, specialized, and customized services, you need spend some time away from making money to ensure that the money you have already made is safe and continues to grow.

 

Wealth management is a distinct field of practice through which qualified professionals help high-net-worth individuals achieve their goals and objectives pertaining to the accumulation, protection, and distribution of wealth by applying a set of specialized knowledge and skills.

 

The financial services industry is replete with ways to distinguish and revitalize services. The term “wealth management” is loosely associated with a team of planning professionals providing a range of services for a client such as personal financial planning, investment management, tax reduction, estate planning strategies, and legal resources.

 

Sometimes risk management & asset protection, charitable giving, estate planning, wealth transfer, tax preparation, and even budgeting and bill payment are added to the list.

 

Financial planning means creating a strategy for accumulating wealth for retirement and personal goals and includes life insurance, critical illnesses, and disabilities. Investment management focuses on managing financial assets with a performance level in mind.

 

Wealth management though, considers the total net worth of a family, a couple or an individual. It weighs financial decisions in light of an investment portfolio and additional components of the financial picture such as real estate, insurance, a business, and more.

 

If you have too many financial concerns, issues, or priorities to address by yourself, then it is certainly time for wealth management. Even if your financial life is less complex, significant wealth calls for a vigilant, ongoing management approach.

 

But what should you look for?

Your wealth management team should include advisors from different disciplines to pay attention to many of the financial details. The team should look at your goals, needs, and priorities to determine the right strategy for guiding your invested assets and enhancing your net worth.

 

A few words of caution: You may be courted and wined & dined among other incentives to get your business on the book. But be prudent don't let with the VIP treatment cloud your judgement. This ego-stroking has led to many an HNI parting ways with his/her money.

 

Ask to examine a sample wealth management plan to verify that a high level of care is actually being offered.

Keep in mind that professionals tied together by the same financial institution may be less objective than a team of independent advisors. Common sense dictates you interview each professional involved and ensure all potential conflicts of interest are fully disclosed in writing

 

A comprehensive wealth management team should have the following players:

Accountant

This is the team player you’ll probably talk to the most over issues like tax advice, running numbers on a particular transaction, or making an investment. The accountant makes sure that people who owe you money pay on time and keeping your affairs in order.

 

An insurance specialist

Go for a personalized service, someone who knows your family, your business, and your needs. This should cover your personal, business and professional insurances which is your basic foundation

 

Financial planner

This person must have the ability to put your money in a variety of sectors, including real estate, stocks and bonds, and commodities. It’s hard to find one person with all these skills and the licenses so most opt for a company that can handle all the work.

 

Lawyer

Look for a good business lawyer who specializes in corporate finance and corporate law. Good lawyers can keep you from losing your money due to bad deals and dishonest team players. Of course, this means that you will have to keep your lawyer in the loop about everything.

 

Major financial institution offers private wealth management The challenge will be in hiring a good company. Here are a few tips to help you choose a company that is right for you:

Personal Relationships

Interview as many bankers as possible. Feel free to ask them anything and everything. Ask them what happens if you lose your credit cards in the middle of the night, or if they can come to your house on a weekend to help you finish an important transaction. The truth is that many of the things a private banker does are very similar to what a person at your local bank does, but the difference is that a private banker waits on your call, as opposed to the other way around.

 

Word of Mouth

Asking for a referral can be golden when it comes to choosing a wealth management company. But don’t rely solely on the word of a friend or a professional. Think of word of mouth as window-shopping. Hearing about a great company focuses your attention, but you still need to do the research.

 

Educate Yourself

Read periodicals like Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, which frequently profile the world’s top money management firms. A wealth management team is all about delegating responsibility, but there’s one responsibility you can never delegate, and that’s executive-level decision making.

 

Assembling and hiring the right wealth management team may seem like a challenge, but once you’re on board with the right guys, you should find peace of mind. When you’ve found a team, however, there are two things you should keep in mind.

 

First, always double-check their work to make ensure honesty and integrity. Trust is great, but when it’s your money, the only person you should trust is you. Second, always be on the lookout for a better team. It’s nice to work with the same people on a regular basis, but if you can make more with someone else, do it.

 

I hope that you will be motivated to take a journey educating, equipping, and empowering yourself with the right knowledge and total financial planning continuum. 

 

 

 

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