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Wealth managers use their financial expertise to help clients grow their wealth. Serving as trusted consultants to high-net-worth individuals or families, they create strategic plans based on their clients’ objectives and financial profile, encompassing investments, insurance, mutual funds, trust and estate taxes, and retirement. Typically, they are also responsible for implementation, and they manage investment portfolios and asset allocation, vigilantly tracking results and adjusting their course of action. Since communication with clients is extremely important, they spend much of their time holding meetings and preparing reports. Many wealth managers work in investment firms and banks, but it’s common for them to be self-employed.
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Wealth Manager Duties and Responsibilities
While the day-to-day duties of wealth managers are determined by their employer and the needs of their clients, there are many core tasks associated with this role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Analyze Financial Information
Wealth managers hold in-depth consultations with clients to learn about their financial goals, risk tolerance, and current asset allocation. They also analyze existing securities and portfolios and supplement their findings with research about possible investments.
Cultivate Client Relationships
Throughout the whole process, wealth managers interact directly with clients and take charge of setting meeting agendas, presenting plans and reviews, giving regular updates, and addressing inquiries. Ideally, they work with clients long term and possess a track record of completing tasks on time and resolving issues right away.
The main deliverable of wealth managers is a comprehensive strategy that takes into account all aspects of the client’s finances. Depending on the client’s requirements, this takes the form of financial plans and portfolios that encompass asset allocation, investments, estates, and taxes, with the aim of increasing overall wealth.
Once the client agrees with their recommendations, wealth managers move on to implementation by managing assets and setting up investments. They then monitor these on a regular basis to review performance and make adjustments accordingly.
Collaborate with Advisors
Given their well-rounded perspective of their client’s financial situation, wealth managers may collaborate with more specialized professionals, such as financial planners, lawyers, and accountants, supplementing plans with additional information and ensuring that proposed solutions align with the client’s major goals.
Wealth Manager Skills and Qualifications
Wealth managers are experienced professionals with strong financial acumen and a passion for working directly with clients. Employers look for wealth managers with a degree in business, accounting, or a related field, and the following skills:
Knowledge of finance – wealth managers must have significant knowledge of finance and economics, along with a sharp eye for business trends, if they are to successfully handle their clients’ assets and investments over the long term
Analytical thinking – it’s essential for wealth managers to be critical thinkers who can conduct research and formulate action steps based on hard data such as stock prices, client cash flow, and net assets
Communication skills – wealth managers must be excellent at both written and verbal communication since they frequently hold client meetings, coordinate with other professionals, and express their findings through reports and presentations
Relationship management – since wealth managers ideally work with clients for a number of years, a key aspect of the job is relationship management. They should earn the trust of clients through ethical behavior, a willingness to listen, and consistent performance
Adaptability – rather than advocating for a financial plan that’s set in stone, wealth managers recognize that plans undergo constant revision as they adjust to real-time results and changing client goals
Tools of the Trade
Wealth managers utilize the following tools on a daily basis:
Investment management software (FinFolio, emX, ReconAdvantage)
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Wealth Manager Education and Training
At minimum, wealth managers have a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, or a related field. Because this position requires significant expertise, most employers look for candidates with a postgraduate degree, such as an MBA or JD, along with professional certifications such as CFA (chartered financial analyst), CPA (certified public accountant), or Series 7 license. Candidates should also have at least five years of experience in finance, preferably working directly with clients.
Wealth Manager Salary and Outlook
PayScale shows that private wealth managers have an average income of nearly $80,000 per year. Wealth managers in the 10th percentile earn less than $46,000 annually, while the highest paid make more than $140,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of personal financial advisors, who have job duties similar to wealth managers, is likely to grow 15 percent through 2026. This is a higher-than-average rate, with demand for financial planning services increasing as the population ages and people enjoy longer lifespans.
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