The Complete Guide to What We Do
A wealth advisor near me is a phrase that is generally associated with wealth management. Wealth management is a financial advisory service catering to high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals who have a few million dollars in liquid investible assets. Liquid assets include those assets that are readily available for investment. They do not include illiquid holdings like a home or other investments not readily convertible into cash.Generally, a high net worth individual is someone who has $1 million or more in liquid assets, a very high net worth individual is someone with $5 million or more in liquid assets, while an ultra-high net worth individual is someone with $30 million or more in liquid assets. By the way, if you happen to have $10 million or more in liquid assets, then check out this complimentary guide on choosing the best financial advisor.
There are multiple types of wealth managers and advisors. You can either work with a big brand-name firm or go regional with a niche boutique firm. You can work with someone close to your location or can go with a national name. Every wealth management firm will have its own style of working. Every wealth management firm will also have a minimum account size that it screens for when accepting clients. For example, Pillar Wealth Management works with clients who have between $5 million and $500 million in investible liquid assets.
The decision can be a bit challenging. To help you better understand how wealth management firms work, we have written the following guide. It will answer the questions “Is a wealth advisor worth it?” and “How do I choose a wealth advisor?”. We will briefly discuss wealth advisor services and explore what to look for in a wealth advisor.
Table of Contents
Is AWealth Advisor Worth It?
In order to answer the question “is a wealth advisor worth it?” you need to first introspect on why you want to work with a wealth advisor. We can suggest that you go through this short guide on critical shifts needed to maximize portfolio performance. Different wealth management firms have different ways of working. Someone like Pillar Wealth Management specializes in offering an entire suite of personalized wealth management solutions to individuals with $5 million to $500 million in investible liquid assets. Some large firms are positioned to leverage their scale and offer resources from their global offices spread across the world. Every firm will offer something different. What you choose can influence whether it was worth it or not.
For a wealth advisor near me to be worth the money, the client would have to gain the benefit of achieving his/her financial goals. Get in touch with Hutch Ashoo to understand why helping clients achieve their life goals is so important.
Let’s say you have been handling your own money until now. Or maybe you have a financial planner, an accountant, and a tax consultant with whom you have been working. In both of these approaches, you may be spending significant amounts of time either learning about finance and taxation yourself or coordinating meetings with multiple professionals. You may be spending time and effort which can otherwise go towards your business or doing something that you love doing. Perhaps, your investment decisions may not have paid off the way you envisioned. By working with an experienced wealth manager, you can save time, focus on your business or hobbies, and let a professional make smart decisions for you. If you get superior results this way, then a wealth advisor is certainly worth it.
How Do I Choose A Wealth Advisor?
If you have been researching wealth management, then you are probably wondering one thing – How do I choose a wealth advisor? After all, there are so many of them. A quick Google search will give you a few pages of search results listing websites of various wealth management firms. It is like the problem of plenty.
We suggest that you download this guide on choosing the best financial advisor for individuals and families with $5 million to $500 million to get a head-start on the process of finding the right wealth advisor. You also have to ask yourself what areas in your finances you need the most help with. You then need to check prospective wealth managers who specialize in those areas or at least have those topics mentioned in their list of services. It is also a good idea to explore what kind of clients the wealth manager serves. Do they have liquid assets of a similar size as you do? Managing a $1 million account is different from managing a $50 million account.
We highly recommend that you meet your final shortlist of wealth managers one-on-one for a meeting. This interaction can be done in person. But, if that is not possible, then at least schedule a video or phone conversation. Speaking directly to the wealth manager will give you an idea of the personality of the advisor behind the glossy website and the impressive resume. After all, you want to know if you can trust someone with your hard-earned money. You also want to know whether the wealth manager is someone you can feel comfortable sharing your personal information with. Feel free to start a conversation with Pillar Wealth Management to explore whether it may be a possible option for you.
Wealth Advisor Services
You may be aware that wealth management is a broad-ranging area. Wealth advisor services cover a host of areas like retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, philanthropy, portfolio management, succession planning, etc. A good wealth manager will usually be able to offer all the major services related to personal finance under one roof. Some of the best wealth advisors will also mention words like “fiduciary” and trust services. You can read all about the various services offered by a top wealth advisor in this book called The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Financial Advisor: For Investors With $5 Million to $500 Million in Liquid Assets.
We will talk about fiduciary in the next section as we believe that it is something that you should look for in a wealth advisor near me. A wealth advisor connects your life goals to your financial decisions. When money is structured appropriately and made to work for you, it can act as a means of getting you to your goals. Whether it is buying a retirement home, paying for your grandchildren’s education, or contributing to a cause, saving money alone does not help. What matters is where you invest the money, how the money grows, how much tax you pay, and what your lifestyle expenses are. Feel free to schedule a free consultation with Pillar Wealth Management to learn more.
Even if you plan out all these things, there may be “Black Swan” events like the COVID pandemic or a war or a financial crisis that can wipe out a large portion of your assets if you have not structured your finances properly. A wealth advisor uses his/her knowledge and experience and helps you make these important decisions so that you can sleep peacefully at night.
What To Look For In A Wealth Advisor
As youappreciate the role that a wealth advisor plays in a high net worth individual’s financial life,you may be asking yourself what to look for in a wealth advisor. Most people may talk about things like the number of years of experience, the profile of the clientele, and so on. However, we would like to point out some underrated aspects of top wealth managers.
The first one is fiduciary. A fiduciary is someone who has to be registered with the state regulator or the SEC. The fiduciary has to ensure that he/she always acts in the best interests of the client. If there is ever any conflict-of-interest situation, then the fiduciary advisor has to warn the client beforehand. It boosts the trust and the confidence of the client in the wealth advisor near me. We encourage you to connect with Pillar Wealth Management and ask how being a fiduciary has helped the firm and its clients.
Another key aspect that we would like to emphasize is the focus on investment costs. These are costs that are borne by the client such as brokerage fees, capital gains taxes, fund fees, etc. Many wealth advisors tend to focus heavily on gross investment returns while not worrying a lot about these investment costs. However, a client never gets to see gross returns in his/her bank account. What the client sees is the net return after taxes, fees, and charges are deducted. Therefore, it becomes important to structure the costs in a way that maximized the net returns and minimizes the cost outgo for the client. Read more about this concept in our guide on improving portfolio performance for investors with $5 million to $500 million in investible liquid assets.
The Compensation Structure Of A Wealth Advisor Near Me
You may be wondering what the compensation structure of a wealth advisor has to do with the choice of a wealth advisor to work with. The compensation structure has a direct bearing on the quality of service and the integrity of the wealth manager. In the wealth management industry, there are two widely used compensation modes – fee-only and fee-based. A fee-only structure, as the name suggests, consists of only fees. The fee can be determined in a number of ways. A common way is to take a fixed percentage of the total assets of the client and charge that as the annual fee. Another way is to fix an hourly rate and then keep track of the time spent on various tasks. Another way is to create milestones or tasks and assign a mutually agreed amount to each milestone. Whenever a milestone is accomplished, the pre-determined amount gets released. There are many ways to calculate fees but the point is that there is nothing else other than a fee.
A fee-based model is different. It includes a fee component as well as commissions. The commissions are paid by the product companies whose products are bought by the client. For example, if a client invests in a specific mutual fund, then the asset management company that created the mutual fund will “reward” the wealth advisor for facilitating the investment. If a client buys an insurance policy from a specific company, then that insurance company may pay a commission to the advisor.
While there is nothing wrong with the advisor getting paid for facilitating a transaction, it becomes an issue if the product “recommended” by the advisor isn’t really necessary from the client’s perspective. The hope of earning commission can deteriorate the quality of advice.
A Look At Pillar Wealth Management
Pillar Wealth Management is a boutique firm that focuses on high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients with $5 million to $500 million in investible liquid assets. It intentionally keeps a small size and is taking only 17 new clients this year. The small size allows the firm to provide highly personalized wealth management services to its clients. It also allows the firm to ensure that every single portfolio is stress-tested for 1,000 random scenarios every quarter (or 90 days). These stress-tests are based on almost 100 years of historical market data.
Pillar Wealth Management also takes investment costs very seriously. It works dedicatedly to lower taxes, expenses, performance and volatility in its attempt to save the client $100,000 for every $10 million in assets that the client brings in for management. Pillar Wealth Management has more than 60 years of combined experience in managing high net worth and ultra-high net worth wealth.
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 highnet worth individuals with $5 million to $500 million in investible assets, then feel free to start a conversation.
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