What is wealth management?

Yee Law Group Inc. > What is wealth management?

Estate planning lawyers and financial advisors work closely for their high-net-worth client facing financial challenges that did not exist 20 years ago. So who will help them handle their fiscal future?

Defining Wealth Management

Wealth management is a complex, professional service entailing a mix of financial and investment advice. It also includes accounting, estate planning, retirement, real estate, and law.

Cases of Wealth Management

A wealth manager or financial advisor  can count on uses an advanced level of technical expertise, experience and knowledge to assist high-net-worth clients. For example, estate planning for someone with $30 million would encounter issues with a Charitable Remainder Trust or a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust. A wealth manager will be familiar with the challenges faced by someone with a larger estate and can provide tax saving advice.

Additionally, someone with a net worth of $1 million would not be concerned about a Credit Shelter Trust and its federal mandates that apply to the 0.1 percent of the elite population.

Industry Overview

Though the history of wealth management goes back thousands of years, in today’s world the practice of transferring titles is handled by wealth managers that work at banking institutions such as like Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan, Chase, Barclays, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

But they also secure positions at full-service investment companies like USAA, Edward Jones, Raymond James, and Charles Schwab. Within the last two decades, affluent clients have moved to Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas and private wealth managers have followed them.

Trends in Wealth Management

With the new Trump administration, the industry is expected to experience a lot of changes. Consider these five areas.

  1. Fiduciary Rules. Wealth managers will become fiduciaries if the Employee Retirement Income Social Security Act of 1974 is enacted. They will be morally and legally bound to meet a conflict-free standard.
  2. Global Policies. Compliance with global regulatory procedures may prove to be difficult, but nevertheless will be mandatory.
  3. Emerging Market of Millennials. Millennials account for eight percent of investable assets and overwhelmingly have a desire to use Internet technology instead of a human advisor.
  4. Offshore Banks. Foreign banks that act as tax havens will be required to address issues of tax evasion and compliance. Wealth managers will have to be more discerning regarding the locales of deposits and their product offerings.
  5. Fluctuating Market. Varying account levels and pricing will prompt more oversight of regulatory measures. New policies could adversely affect wealth managers’ profits.

Education and Training for Professionals

So what are the skills needed to become a wealth manager? A bachelor’s degree in finance, banking, accounting, or real estate is required. Some wealth managers have master’s degrees in law or business. Equally important in today’s competitive climate are exceptional client service and interpersonal skills.

Professional development

Some wealth managers take the General Securities Series 7 exam for registered representatives. This license allows them to procure business in a similar manner to a broker-dealer as well as trade stocks.


The Association of International Wealth Management is the governing body that handles the designation of Certified Wealth Manager and the Certified International Wealth Management diploma.

Investment Management Consultants Association administers the Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) certification. This nonprofit organization has 11,000 members with 1,184 CPWA designates.

The intricacy of today’s tax laws could jeopardize affluent families. For this reason it’s important to be educated about the maintenance, protection and growth of assets. An experienced wealth manager can offer the guidance needed to protect one’s legacy.