Best Wealth Management Firms
Choosing the wrong wealth manager can mean losing tens of millions you wouldn’t have lost. It can also mean missing out on tens of millions you would have gained and protected.
Pillar Wealth Management has over 60 years of combined experience in offering fiduciary advisory services to individuals having $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets.
We Are Different Because We Are Laser Focused On Helping You Achieve Financial Serenity Through Our Proven Comprehensive Goals-Based Planning & Investing Strategies.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Ranking List of The Largest Wealth Management Firms
|3||State Street Global||$2,905.4||$2,517.9|
|6||Legal & General Investment||$1,845.6||$1,684.5|
|7||J.P. Morgan Asset Management||$1,594.6||$1,422.7|
|9||Goldman Sachs Group||$1,361||$1,190.7|
In this article, we discuss what wealth managers do and how the best wealth management firms operate.
At the best wealth management firms, a wealth manager’s job is to secure your standard of living and your financial future, something you work very hard for every day of your life.
Fulfilling these responsibilities requires a practical thought process, good risk management, reasonable cost control, and a proactive (rather than reactive) attitude. The best wealth management firms, which embed these qualities in their processes, tend to come out relatively unscathed from a major crisis. Those who do not establish a process and rather follow a generic strategy end up suffering the most.
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In order to know which wealth management firms have the best 10-year performance, which ones are among the best wealth management firms, what wealth management is, and whether you need it, we have prepared the following guide.
We will try and answer all these questions below, in what we consider to be the ultimate guide to finding the best wealth manager. For those of you who have over $5 million and up to $500 million, we recommend you download this guide.
According to Barron's Magazine, a leading source of financial news, the top 5 financial advisors are Gregory Vaughn, Lyon Polk, Mark T. Curtis, Brian Pfeifler, and Karen McDonald.
Among the best investment management companies are Vanguard Group, Fidelity, UBS, Schwab, and BlackRock. Many smaller firms are considered best from the viewpoint of their clients.
You can create a shortlist from the internet and your network. Ask the firms on your list about their services, their investment approach, and their relationship with clients.
You should hire a wealth manager if you have assets that need managing, but you find it boring, or you find investing too confusing and complex, or you have too many assets to manage on your own.
What Is Wealth Management, And Do I Need It?
Wealth management is an advisory service that is used by high-net-worth individuals. It covers a wide range of aspects of a person’s financial life.
These aspects can include estate planning, retirement planning, tax planning, investment management, legal and financial planning, risk management, insurance, and philanthropic planning. At the best wealth management firms, wealth managers often have a minimum account size threshold that they adhere to.
Wealth management is a specific form of financial advisory. Simply put, it is the highest level of financial planning service. If you work with an established wealth management firm like Pillar Wealth Management LLC, or any of the best wealth management firms, then the big advantage is that you only deal with one wealth manager who specializes in helping families with $5 million to $500 million in liquid portfolios.
This characteristic is one of the primary differences between a generic financial advisor and a wealth manager.
The benefit of working with one of the best wealth management firms is that one entity handles all aspects of your financial life for you. And even if your wealth manager is not an expert in a particular area, then the right expert could be engaged by your wealth manager for a specific purpose. But, you will still deal with only one wealth manager.
Secondly, financial advisors tend to service accounts of all sizes. They may, therefore, not be ideally positioned to handle portfolios worth a few million dollars. High-net-worth accounts have their own nuances. Hence, their management requires someone who is experienced in dealing with large account sizes.
Another point worth noting is that some financial advisors are domain experts. Therefore, you may end up having to engage the services of multiple such experts to handle various aspects of your finances. Dealing with each one of them can be time-consuming. Besides, each of those advisors may not work in a coordinated manner.
Lastly, an important benefit of engaging one of the best wealth management firms is that you get a custom plan which works for your situation. A personalized approach means that the wealth manager can tailor his/her efforts to fit your needs.
There is no cookie-cutter, one-formula-for-all strategy. You may be surprised to know how many “big name” advisory firms, even among the best wealth management firms, simply copy-paste the same financial plans for many of their clients. That is really surprising given the fact that each person’s financial situation is unique and different. Wealth management is one field where standardization does not work well for the client.
We hope that by now, you are starting to find answers to the questions “What is wealth management, and do I need it?”
If you are someone who has a few million dollars to a few hundred million dollars in liquid investable assets, and if you need a single entity to craft and execute a financial plan that fulfills your dreams, and your goals, and secures your lifestyle, then wealth management is for you, and one of the best wealth management firms should help you meet your goals.
If you do not yet have the kind of assets mentioned above or are looking for services in specific areas of your financial life, and if the lowest cost (for such services) is a top priority, then perhaps meeting a financial advisor may be a better idea.
If you are still unsure, then read this complimentary guide about wealth management and choosing the best advisor for investors with $10 million or more in liquid assets.
Which firms have the best 10-year performance?
In order to answer the question “which wealth management firms have the best 10-year performance”, we first need to know what “performance” is exactly.
The traditional way of thinking about performance is to calculate the average rate of annual return for a specific duration. If this rate, expressed as a percentage, is higher, then the interpretation is that the performance is better.
However, if you are engaging the services of one of the best wealth management firms to attain what we call financial serenity, then performance has a somewhat different meaning. Financial serenity is achieved when you can confidently live the life that you desire. If your portfolio’s performance allows you to do so, then the investment can be considered to be successful.
Achieving financial serenity can be different things for different people. For one person, it could be owning two homes in two different parts of the country to be closer to family, plus a yacht to enjoy the Bahamas. For someone else, financial serenity could be having a stable income without taking on too much risk.
The investment decisions and the performance of those investments are very different for both of these individuals.
Therefore, performance cannot be an arbitrary number (like IRR or rate of return). The performance has to be linked to tangible life goals. You now get an idea of how to identify the best wealth management firms with excellent 10-year performance. These are firms that help their clients feel financially secure, fulfill their life goals, and ultimately achieve financial serenity.
To learn more about how to optimize performance to match your goals, click here to read our guide on the 5 critical shifts that help in improving portfolio performance.
Best Wealth Management Firms 2023
There are plenty of wealth management firms operating in the US. To be counted among the best wealth management firms, a firm has to be able to attract a large number of clients with extensive assets. Reputation, brand, and the array of wealth management services offered also distinguish the very best from the rest.
The most widely used metric for ranking the best wealth management firms in 2022 is assets under management (AUM). Here, we would like to point out that while the size of the AUM may be important, it isn’t everything. In fact, we have experienced that often, a big-name Wall Street firm may not be the right fit for every person. The following is a list of the best wealth management firms in 2023:
BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager and one of the best wealth management firms with a staggering $7.4 trillion in AUM. It has over 30 years of experience in managing wealth for clients in multiple countries around the world. BlackRock is best known for its iShares Core exchange-traded funds.
It is, in fact, the largest ETF provider in the world. ETFs are passive investment instruments that track major stock indexes. Their low fee structure and reasonable investment performance allow them, as some would argue, to outperform many mutual funds with higher fees.
Pillar Wealth Management
Yes, we have no shame and believe that we can compete with the best of them. Pillar Wealth Management, LLC. is a fiduciary that works 100% on fees and personalizes wealth management to the needs of its high and ultra-high net worth clientele. We work on a low-volume high-quality model and, in fact, are only accepting 17 new clients in 2022.
Pillar Wealth Management, LLC., offers services that cover the entire spectrum of a high-net-worth individual’s financial life. Our important achievements in fulfilling our client’s financial goals make us confident that we deserve to be on this list. Even if this is our blog, we are not hesitating to throw our hat in the ring.
Want to learn more about what sets Pillar Wealth Management, LLC apart from other investment companies, making it one of the best wealth management firms? Click here to order a free hardcover copy of our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million today.
The Vanguard Group
Individuals who prefer a more hands-off approach tend to opt for Vanguard’s wealth management services. Vanguard is well-known for its mutual funds and ETFs. Their selection of funds, in our opinion, is great for basic financial planning that do-it-yourselfers can easily manage. Vanguard positions itself in a unique way.
It does not provide a wide array of services for high-net-worth individuals. Rather, it offers clients the opportunity to invest in different funds. The client’s money is mostly invested in the same manner, whether it is $10 million or just $100 per month. So, Vanguard may be called one of the best wealth management firms.
The risk with this model of wealth management is that you are at the mercy of the fund manager for taxes! Those who desire a more holistic investment approach should, instead, engage a wealth management firm that provides tax assistance, estate planning, and other services targeted toward ultra-high net-worth investors.
Another one of the best wealth management firms is Bridgewater Associates. If you are looking to invest with a hedge fund, then Bridgewater is a good option. The company works with institutional clients and can work out well if you run a pension fund, endowment, or foundation.
Bridgewater offers three funds: the Pure Alpha, All Weather, and Pure Alpha Major Markets funds. Each of these funds follows a different investment strategy. However, hedge funds charge a hefty fee, and each of the above funds comes with its own annual fee structures.
So, Is the Biggest Wealth Management Firm the Right Choice?
To answer the question, “which investment companies are the best for me?”, you have to consider your financial situation. As outlined above, every one of the best wealth management firms has a unique positioning. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses. The goal should be to work with advisors who can fulfill your needs as well as the needs of your family.
If you have between $5 million and $500 million in liquid investable assets that you are looking to invest, and you’re interested in finding an investment company to help manage your assets, consider working with the team at Pillar Wealth Management LLC. Schedule your free consultation with a company you can consider among the best wealth management firms.
The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Wealth Advisor
The best way to find the right wealth manager for your needs is to speak to a few good ones. You can probably imagine how to go about screening wealth managers. It involves doing a bit of research online, finding a few reputed wealth managers, getting to know whether those wealth managers’ offerings are the right fit for your requirements, and reading reviews about their performance.
You should also look at the qualifications of each prospective wealth manager. Designations like CFA, CPA, etc., can help. You can also check the records and credentials of a wealth manager by approaching the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Once you have shortlisted a handful of promising wealth managers, the next step is to either meet with them in person or schedule a mobile phone/video call. This direct interaction is really important because it gives you a chance to ask some important questions.
You can ask the wealth manager about their experience, their expertise, and their way of working. Make sure you also ask the wealth manager about your costs in case you work together. Costs can include things like capital gains tax, commissions, and fund-specific costs (active vs passive).
We recommend that you read this guide on improving portfolio performance if you have $5 million to $500 million in investible assets. It will give you great insights into evaluating portfolio performance and asking the right questions about the topic.
Another great way to find a trusted wealth manager is to speak with your network. Your friends, your business partners, your family members, and your circle of support may have worked with some of the best wealth management firms. They will give you an unbiased and genuine review as well.
Hutch Ashoo and Christopher Snyder are the expert founders of the independent, fee-only, and fiduciary wealth management firm Pillar Wealth Management. If you would like to speak with them or simply ask any questions about how custom and trusted wealth management advice is offered to high-net-worth individuals with $5 million to $500 million in investible assets, then feel free to start a conversation. You will see that PillarWM has its place among the best wealth management firms.
A Few Last Words
As a high-net-worth investor, you need financial services from the best wealth management firms and their teams. To get the best service, working with the top financial firms seems like a reasonable option. It is not hard to find financial firms these days, whether you live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or any area in the United States.
Besides, you can also check on an online platform like Investopedia, where you can see some big names such as UBS, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Global Wealth Investment Management, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, J.P Morgan Private Bank, BNP Paribas Wealth Management, Bank of America Private Bank, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Citi Private Bank, and many more.
You can receive financial services like private wealth management, private banking, etc., from these firms that are among the best wealth management firms. However, there is no guarantee that you will get the service you deserve by working with one of these big names. With the large number of clients they have to handle, you may get generalized financial planning instead of personalized planning, which can badly affect your wealth. Therefore, a firm that can see the uniqueness in every financial case and deliver customized advice, like Pillar Wealth Management, should be your choice. Hutch Ashoo and Chris Snyder have been working with high-net-worth individuals for many years, and with their vast experience, you know that you are working with a firm that you can rely on to manage your wealth.
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