When you were early in your career and retirement was decades away, “wealth management” may not have been something you thought much about. At that time, you may have been more focused on accelerating your career path and making sure you were making the max contribution to your 401k, along with building a comfortable nest egg.
But as you get closer to retirement — within a decade or so — managing your finances and your assets increases in complexity. Let’s face it: There are a number of risks in retirement, and even if you’ve saved diligently and invested as wisely as possible over the years, you may want that extra measure of confidence that can come from working with a professional.
That’s where a wealth manager comes in.
What exactly is a wealth manager?
Sometimes called a wealth advisor or financial advisor, a wealth manager is your trusted resource you can engage to help you navigate the complexities of your financial life. A wealth manager will do a lot of the things that a financial planner does, but their scope is much wider.
Typically, wealth managers work with high net worth individuals, those who have more than $750,000 under management, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Some managers and firms will work with those who have less than that threshold.
Wealth managers combine a variety of financial services with the goal of increasing client wealth over the long term:
Investment advice and portfolio management
Tax services and optimization
But there’s more to wealth management than just providing a bundle of services; it’s also about adding value through a relationship that provides you peace of mind about your financial future. The very best wealth managers are focused on understanding your goals and creating a personalized approach.
How do I know if I could benefit from working with a wealth advisor?
Whether or not you meet the high-net-worth criteria, you may be able to benefit from a wealth advisor if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
Would you like help managing the big picture and the entirety of your financial life?
Is your focus on growing wealth long-term, rather than generating a quick return?
Would you like someone who can research and recommend the right investments for you at different phases?
Are you approaching a big life change that will impact your finances? Some examples: you have a child entering college; your approaching retirement; or you are selling your business or considering starting a new one.
Would you like help creating and managing a passive income stream in retirement?
Are you interested in outsourcing financial management, whether because your time is limited, or you want professional expertise to fill in the gaps in your knowledge?
Do you need the reassurance that comes from knowing a trusted third party will ensure your spouse is taken care of?
What should I look for in a wealth advisor?
Many financial advisory firms have wealth managers, and there are wealth management firms, like Ironwood Wealth Management, that specialize in providing services to high-net-worth individuals as they get closer to retirement.
Here are a few things to watch for when selecting a wealth advisor:
Do they claim to be a fiduciary? In other words, will they manage your finances in your best interest?
Does their wealth management philosophy align with your own?
Do they offer all the services you need?
Do they offer a personalized approach that will be tailored to your unique situation?
Will they provide a Form ADV? (This paperwork is required of firms that register with the SEC, and are designed to help you learn more about their practices, fees, conflicts of interest, and any past disciplinary issues)?
You can learn more here about which questions you should ask any financial advisor you’re considering hiring.
Is it the right time in your life to find a wealth manager? Learn how Ironwood Wealth Management provides a personalized approach to managing your financial life, and schedule an appointment to talk to an advisor today.