It would be perhaps overstating the case to suggest that a decision to talk to a wealth manager represents one of the great milestones of life. It is true to say, however, that for many people, taking advantage of the services offered by a wealth management firm will mark the beginning of a new approach to financial planning – one that embraces not only investment but also issues such as tax-efficiency and the protection of wealth.
But what does that mean in practice? Well, not everyone takes advantage of a wealth management service and that includes some who are High Net Worth individuals or on their way to achieving that status.
For instance, as an individual begins to accrue wealth, he or she may do the sensible thing and invest across a range of asset classes – typically shares, bonds and properties – through a number of vehicles. In many cases, the investment decisions will be based on advice from family, friends, experts writing for newspaper money pages, or an accountant.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Assuming the investments perform well, the money works hard and everyone is happy.
So why opt for wealth management?
Well to make a general point: Life is a complicated and complex thing. Most of us have things that we want to achieve in terms of our careers, personal lives, families and (ultimately) retirement plans. Many of those goals might be non-financial in nature, but they do require a high degree of financial planning. That’s true of marriage, raising a family, starting a business, retiring well and a host of other things.
So if we return to those investments, they may be performing well, but that performance (and the timeline of the investment) may not align with changing life goals – which, after all, have their own timetables.
A Professional Eye
So that is one area where a professional eye can help to deliver results that are not just good but optimal. But there is a bigger picture. As an individual’s financial affairs become more complex, a whole range of issues arise. For instance, a wealth manager can advise on how a portfolio can be managed for maximum tax efficiency or indeed on a specific investment vehicle to help reduce a tax bill. A good example here would be investments in Enterprise Investment Scheme-compliant companies or Venture Capital Trusts. Both offer generous income tax breaks.
Then there is the question of how best to plan for retirement. And – crucial for many – how to protect wealth and ensure that it is passed on to the next generation.
Now, it may be possible for an individual to undertake much of this planning while seeking advice on specific issues. There are two points to make here: First and foremost, most busy people don’t have the time to manage complex financial affairs; And secondly, a wealth manager will join up all the financial dots. It’s a holistic process.
Getting on board with a wealth manager is often triggered by certain events on life’s journey. That may be as simple as a realisation that holistic and comprehensive planning would represent a positive step. Maybe up to that point the individual hasn’t really thought too much about optimising investment, managing tax efficiency or putting protections in place as part of an integrated strategy.
That perception may, in turn, be triggered by a milestone, such as getting married, having children or starting a business. For someone who is busy in their career – and thus has limited time – it can be virtually impossible to take a consolidated view. That’s where the wealth manager provides an invaluable service. The same principle applies in later life when retirement and estates planning come to the fore. At that stage, many people begin to wish they had started to plan earlier and feel it is too late to put their finances in the best possible order. It really is never too late, but specialist knowledge is often required.
There is no one-size-fits-all wealth management solution. No two people are the same in terms of their life goals and financial situation. Meanwhile, everyone goes through life changes that affect their priorities. Those factors lie at the heart of a successful wealth manager/client relationship. Put simply, the wealth manager must deliver on what the client needs and wants at any point in time and in accordance with the situation.
The Route – City wealth club begins with the life goals of each Member and builds a plan that embraces investment, tax, estates management and protection. Two reviews a year ensure the plan responds to changing circumstances and priorities. It is a genuinely bespoke service tailored to individual need.
To find out more about Route – City wealth club Membership, please call: 020 3141 9040
Become a Member
There’s a good chance you already know one or more of our Members through your business network. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you grow your assets faster, and with less risk, please get in touch.