There are close to 6 million high net worth individuals in the US. Managing all of that wealth in a smart way requires effort and expertise. As much as robo-advisories and fintech firms would like to convince you, managing significant wealth isn’t as simple as clicking a few buttons.
When millions of dollars are at stake, every decision matters. Some research about top wealth management in USA will also reveal the same thing. If you are someone with $10 million or more in liquid assets, then it may be useful for you to check out this guide on choosing the best financial advisor.
To advise clients on these important decisions, there exists a wealth management industry in the US. There are many wealth managers spread out across the country. You can probably run a quick search online and find a few close to your zip code.
However, as a high net worth or an ultra-high net worth individual, you do not want to deal with any average financial advisor. You want the top wealth managers who have a healthy track record. PillarWM.com is one of the top ultra-high net worth wealth management in USA. It has strategies geared towards high and ultra-high net worth clientele with $5 million to $500 million in investible assets.
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Wealth management is generally associated with super-wealthy and famous people. It is true that wealth managers require a minimum account size to work with. That minimum is usually $1 million or more. However, if you are within the parameters of the wealth manager’s criteria, then you can engage his/her services for your financial planning and wealth management needs. You don’t really have to be a celebrity. You just need to have a certain account size.
Top wealth management? Where to find it? That must be the question on your mind if you are convinced that wealth management is for you. Before you go researching wealth managers, it will help if you understand certain key aspects of wealth management. The way wealth management fees are charged makes a big difference.
When you want to compare two wealth managers, it can also help to know the process of how to become wealth management. Knowing the background and the motivations of a wealth manager can be quite insightful.
In this article, we will explore all these topics so that you can make an informed decision.
Wealth managers offer a range of services that cover every aspect of a high net worth individual’s financial life. The services can range from retirement planning, financial planning, estate planning, philanthropy, succession planning, investment management, legal advice, business sale, real estate transaction advice, etc.
You can read about the entire gamut of wealth management services in this detailed book called The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Financial Advisor: For Investors With $5 Million to $500 Million in Liquid Assets.
In return for these services, the wealth manager charges a fee. Wealth management fees generally follow three main structures. The first is commission-only. The second is fee-based. And the third is fee-only.
All of these structures have their own plusses and minuses. Some wealth managers use the fee-based model while some use the fee-only. The top wealth management in USA uses the fee-only model. Pillarwm.com is a fee-only fiduciary wealth manager for clients with $5 million to $500 million in liquid investible assets.
In a commission-only structure, a wealth manager does not charge any direct fee to the client. Instead, the manager earns commissions from investment products and services that are offered to you – the client. This is great from the point of view of not having to pay any direct fees and may sound like a really low-cost option.
However, the incentives of the wealth manager are aligned towards earning commissions rather than giving you the best possible recommendations. You might feel the pressure of certain products or funds being pushed aggressively to you. After all, that is what earns the wealth manager a living.
The second model, the fee-based structure, is a mix between the commission-only and the fee-only structures. Here, the wealth manager earns direct fees based on the work done as well as commissions. The direct fee can be in the form of an hourly compensation or a milestone-based arrangement.
In the hourly compensation model, an hourly rate is decided before initiating the engagement. Then, the number of hours worked on a particular task is recorded and an invoice is generated accordingly. In the milestone method, a task is assigned to the wealth manager as a milestone. Upon the successful completion of the task, the milestone is approved and a pre-determined amount is released for payment to the wealth manager.
Lastly, the fee-only structure involves no commissions. Rather, a direct fee is paid based on the assets that the client engages a wealth manager to manage. The amount of the fee is determined by a fixed percentage of the total assets under management.
Usually, once the asset size goes above a certain limit, the fixed percentage number may drop. So, for example, a wealth manager may charge 1% of total assets under management for up to $10 million in portfolio size. However, for clients who bring more than $10 million, the fee might go down to 0.8% of the assets under management.
The fee-only model aligns the monetary incentive of the wealth manager to the best interests of the client. Since no commission is to be made, there is no reason to “push” products. Only products that make complete sense for the client are recommended. You are more than welcome to schedule a free conversation with Pillar Wealth Management and learn about the pros and cons of the various fee structures.
How to become wealth management, and what does it mean.
Wealth management is a more specific form of financial advisory. All wealth managers are financial advisors, but not every financial advisor is a wealth manager. Wealth management focuses on providing financial advice to affluent clients. Therefore, to know how to become wealth management, one needs to know how to work with high net worth individuals.
Affluent individuals have their own set of financial issues. Those issues are different from the ones that the average American would face. The decisions involved in managing a high net worth portfolio can have far-reaching impacts.
Simply churning the portfolio too frequently by shifting from one stock to another can result in short-term capital gains tax. We have written a special guide on improving portfolio performance for investors with $5 million to $500 million in investible assets. There, you can read how short-term capital gains tax can erode investor return vs long-term capital gains tax.
Top wealth management in USA also places special emphasis on people skills. To be a successful wealth manager, you need to be able to provide personalized services. Whether that means knowing the client and his/her family by name or everything about their financial situation whenever you take any decision, “knowing the client” is on the next level when it comes to high net worth wealth management. After all, the client needs to trust a wealth manager to entrust him/her with making decisions that can affect millions of dollars.
Besides, every high net worth individual’s financial situation is unique. The financial goals are unique and the motivations are different. Therefore, every client needs to be understood deeply before any meaningful advice is given.
To achieve this level of insight, time and effort need to go in communicating with the client. Get in touch with Hutch Ashoo to know how Pillar Wealth Management took on only 17 clients last year and why that allows them to better manage high net worth wealth.
Lastly, establishing a breadth of knowledge and services is important. One of the major appeals of wealth management firms is the fact that the client has to deal with only one person. So, whatever is the financial issue, a top wealth manager should either be proficient in that area or have the capacity to bring in an expert to get the job done.
Top wealth manager? Where to find it
So you know how the top wealth managers work, how they earn their fees, and what skills they possess. You would ask, top wealth management? Where to find it? There are a few ways you can find great wealth managers that you can trust and work with. Going online and finding wealth managers is the most obvious first step. However, there is tons of information about wealth managers online. So, where do you look?
You can check websites like the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). These two websites have a database of financial planners that can be filtered with metrics like location and fee structure. Once you shortlist, you can then check individually to see which one of the financial planners is a wealth manager for the kind of account sizes that you have.
Top wealth management in USA can also be found by making use of your personal network. Ask your friends, college buddies, or business partners about any wealth managers that they know of. You can also speak to your relatives and family members to discover top wealth managers.
Since you will speak to your own people, the reviews that they share with you about specific wealth managers will be genuine. You won’t be reading the glossy testimonials that are commonly displayed on websites. You will be hearing straight from the person who is a client with a wealth manager.
You can check out this downloadable guide on choosing the best financial advisor for individuals with $5 million to $500 million to get more information on how to find wealth managers and what to talk about when you meet one. Especially read the part about the non-negotiables of a good wealth manager.
Pillar Wealth Management is one of the Top Ultra-High Net Worth Investment Management in USA
As you begin your search for an experienced wealth manager, you may also consider Pillar Wealth Management as one of your options. Pillar Wealth Management is one of the top ultra-high net worth wealth management in USA. Like the top wealth management in USA, Pillar is a registered fiduciary.
Just to give you a quick intro, a fiduciary is someone who is registered with either the SEC or the state regulator and is obligated to act in the best interest of the client. If there is ever a conflict of interest, then it is the duty of the fiduciary to point that out to the client.
Pillar Wealth Management also offers a proposition that is unique in the industry. It commits to saving $100,000 for every $10 million in investible assets that the client brings in. We believe that controlling investment expenses, whether through smarter investment choices, tax planning, or otherwise, is as important as gunning for the highest rate of return.
We realize that what matters to the client is the net return in hand after all the expenses and taxes are deducted. If we can save $100,000 by planning with some foresight, then that will be like putting money in our client’s pockets. You are more than welcome to speak with Hutch about this unique commitment of ours.
Lastly, we measure the success of our wealth management strategies not in numbers but in results. We believe that we are successful when our clients reach their financial goals. Every activity that we do and every discussion that we have with our clients has the sole focus of reaching the client’s goals.
If that means offering more time and focus to our clients by taking in a limited number of clients, handholding and regularly stress testing portfolios, and using other time-tested strategies, then we do all of that to establish trust and make our wealth management decisions count.
Hutch Ashoo and Christopher Snyder are the expert founders of 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.
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