The term “wealth management” is said to be almost 100 years old, but the idea of protecting, managing, and growing our assets can be recognized in the construction of granaries in Jordan 11,000 years ago. Just as those granaries were built to store and protect grain, modern wealth management began with a focus on the safekeeping and protection of assets. Prior to the existence of the Depository Trust Company (DTC), a great deal of time and expense was devoted to the protection and storage of documentation establishing proof of ownership. The protection and safekeeping of assets is still a cornerstone, but the industry has evolved to include a wide range of firms that provide an ever-growing list of services that is focused on the lifespan of the assets as well as the lifetime of the owner.
Today, wealth management refers to the business community of financial professionals that provide investment management or advisory services, in combination with a full range of other financial services, to provide a holistic solution for the wealth needs of affluent to high-net-worth clients. It is a consultative process where the wealth manager or advisor learns about the client’s circumstances and objectives and then tailors a targeted strategy using appropriate financial products and services.
The business is often, first, focused on managing a portfolio of assets (usually with a predominance of investment securities) and then wrapping a management service in the full spectrum of financial disciplines.
What types of firms make up wealth management
There are many firms that offer wealth management services, in part or whole, around a client’s financial position and goals.
- Brokerage firms
- Accounting Firms
- Law Firms
- Retirement Services Providers
- Real Estate Management Firms
- Financial advisory practices
- Insurance companies
- Investment advisors
- Large banks
- Money management firms
- Trust companies
- Multi-family offices
What services are covered in the industry
In many cases, a client may work directly with a wealth manager who can help manage the relationships to execute their plan. Some firms have many or all these services in house. In most cases, they partner with different providers or build teams of professionals to offer a holistic wealth package.
- Accounting services
- Banking services
- Custody and safekeeping services
- Charitable giving planning
- Estate planning
- Financial planning
- Investment advice
- Legal advice
- Non-financial asset management
- Portfolio management
- Cash management
- Retirement planning
- Risk management and asset protection
- Tax advice and tax filing services
- Trustee services
- Special Needs Trusts
- Legacy Values transfer
Some firms have added services that go beyond the financial realm by partnering with home care services and social workers to help their clients deal with any number of family, late-life, and lifetime care issues
The education you need to get started
Are you considering a career in wealth management? The industry is so wide, it offers a lot of different paths to get started.
Most wealth professionals will have at least a bachelor’s degree in a business or finance discipline. Many get their start through a degree related to personal finance management. There are master’s degrees available which allow you to become more specialized such as the Master of Trust and Wealth Management at Campbell University.
There are specialized certifications through specialized financial services courses or certification boards available to advance your career.
Wealth management isn’t a silo
It’s nearly impossible to build a comprehensive wealth management plan without relying on different disciplines and resources for your clients. Getting to know your clients is the first step to be able to connect the pieces to help them achieve their goals. As you can see, wealth management isn’t a single service-only industry.
Accutech serves the wealth management industry through its platform of products and services anchored by Cheetah Wealth Management™, a comprehensive, cloud-based trust accounting and wealth management platform used by many types of financial service firms.