Wealth Management

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DEFINITION of 'Wealth Management'

A high-level professional service that combines financial/investment advice, accounting/tax services, retirement planning and legal/estate planning for one fee. Clients work with a single wealth manager who coordinates input from financial experts and can include coordinating advice from the client's own attorney, accountants and insurance agent. Some wealth managers also provide banking services or advice on philanthropic activities.

BREAKING DOWN 'Wealth Management'

In general, wealth management is more than just investment advice, as it can encompass all parts of a person's financial life. The idea is that rather than trying to make sense of advice from a series of professionals, high net worth individuals benefit from a holistic approach in which a single manager coordinates all the services needed to manage their money and plan for their own and/or their family's current and future needs.

The wealth manager starts by developing a plan that will maintain and increase the client's wealth based on that individual's financial situation, goals and comfort level with risk. After the original plan is developed, the manager meets regularly with clients to update goals, review and rebalance the financial portfolio, investigate whether additional services are needed and ideally, follow clients throughout their life.

Wealth managers are often part of a wealth-management firm, with access to a team of in-house experts and services, but may also be solo practitioners who rely on their own network of independent experts. Management fees vary widely and should be researched thoroughly before engaging a wealth manager. For more information, see The Best of the Best Wealth Management Firms and What is private wealth management?

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