How to Assess and Hire Wealth Managers?
Published on January 3rd, 2023
What is Wealth Management?
For accredited investors and other high-net-worth individuals, wealth management is a type of financial advising service.
High-net-worth individuals could require more assistance than what is often provided by regular financial advisors. People with millions, or even billions, of dollars, might have complicated tax problems, extensive portfolios, and other needs that are unlikely to be relevant to typical investors.
Wealth managers frequently have access to a more extensive selection of financial services and products. Clients pay the price, and they get tailored strategies made with their budgets in mind.
What do Wealth Managers do?
Wealth Managers are just a subset of financial advisors. The thing that sets them apart from other advisors is their clientele. Wealth managers primarily serve high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. And as the title implies, they usually manage large amounts of wealth for these clients.
A top-notch wealth manager should have the ability to explain complex information, be confident, and have good sales and negotiation skills. Ultimately, a first-class wealth manager should have superior knowledge of wealth management, good presentation skills, and an understanding of customer relations tactics.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a wealth manager include:
- Advising clients on financial products and services
- Buying and selling stock on behalf of the client
- Managing investments
- Conducting planning services
- Providing tax planning services
- Providing estate planning services
Skills of a Wealth Manager
1. Communication Skills
For wealth management positions, candidates must be self-assured, intelligent, and capable of having meaningful conversations with clients. Such job profiles place high importance on language proficiency. They must be able to comprehend their client's needs and provide them with appropriate advice.
2. Analytical Skills
The most important skill for this job is the ability to analyze data in order to translate scenarios into logical statistics for your clients. Analytical abilities are dynamic because they enable a person to understand, classify, and utilize the trends on specific graphs of countless time periods in the market as a whole.
3. Research Skills
Quality research and a solid market understanding are vital to any financial professional’s success. Your candidate should be thorough in researching the information relevant to the securities of your interest to advise you on your next move. Research enables traders to comprehend the unstable situation well in advance by using their research skills.
4. Proactive Nature
Wealth Managers have to approach each and every scenario proactively and earn the respect of their clients by making positive and assertive strategies to handle financial transactions. They should have an extroverted personality to clearly understand your needs.
Experienced wealth managers score extra points for being able to adjust to changing market conditions. The professionals in this field are aware of how difficult their work is and work hard to adjust to the tough market conditions and shifting scenarios.
6. Discretion and Trustworthiness
Wealth managers possess a high degree of honesty and are discreet when it comes to the specifics of their client's holdings. Integrity and the abrupt loss of their market's order must be top priorities for them. In today's modern society, discretion is a necessary ability. No matter the position or professional role, it is always paired with dependability and trustworthiness for all industries.
7. Finance Expert
An individual can only survive the pressure of the financial market by understanding the basics of wealth management, valuation of companies, tax planning, longer-term equity investing, and fund management styles.
8. Updated Knowledge of Investment Products
People want to invest in a plethora of different kinds of financial instruments, so a wealth manager has to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the financial market. Wealth managers should be well informed about the different types of products to generate new ideas.
9. Ability to Spot Investment Opportunities
It is considered one of the most essential skills of a wealth manager to estimate the market for spotting a potential area and check if it makes sense for the client to make investments.
10. Strong Focus on Customer Service
It simply means focusing on prioritizing your customers’ needs and responding to their queries in a timely manner. When a company’s culture is dedicated to enhancing its customer satisfaction by building strong customer relationships, then the organization’s overall reputation is improved.
How to Assess a Wealth Manager?
Investors with significant wealth, whether they are private individuals or institutions, frequently need specialized services that fall outside the purview of a traditional financial advisor. This is where wealth management specialists come in, who take into account individual circumstances, financial goals, and constraints.
Wealth managers develop detailed financial plans that account for a range of aspects, including taxes, retirement, estate planning, liquidity needs, and more, in addition to just giving investing advice.
Since it is such a huge responsibility, you cannot just hire the first person or firm you come across as the wealth manager. You need more. You need to assess the person thoroughly.
Ask the candidate to take a pre-employment assessment test. A wealth management assessment gauges candidates' knowledge of the stock market, managing a portfolio, and budgeting.
The questions are based on real-world scenarios and are intended to evaluate candidates' capacity to recognize and analyze the special circumstances of high-net-worth investors as well as their capacity to develop focused strategies that reduce taxes, safeguard asset value, maximize growth within risk objectives, and transfer wealth in the most effective way.
Additionally, with these assessments, you get a ready-made report that analyzes all the potential candidates and gives you a clear picture of the best one.
Tips to Hire a Superstar Wealth Manager
1. Ask the Right Questions
- Are you a fiduciary?
- Which investment licenses and certifications do you hold?
- What asset allocation will you use?
- What is your investment philosophy?
- How will my investment performance be measured and evaluated?
- Are my funds being actively or passively managed?
- What is the minimum asset requirement?
2. Check their Credentials
Whether choosing a firm or an individual, have a meeting with the person who might be handling your account.
Ask them where they previously worked, if they are a Certified Financial Planner(CFP), and what other credentials they can list. Remember that since you are the client, the advisor must convince you to give them your business.
You can use Finra's BrokerCheck, the SEC, or other sources to determine whether an advisor is a CFP. Don't be hesitant to conduct the same kind of investigation that you would on a prospective employee. Ask questions about each credential and qualification, see if you can locate any job history, and speak with present and former clients. Do your research before making a decision.
3. Make sure they are a Fiduciary
A fiduciary is someone who acts in the best interest of another person. Their behavior must serve their client, not themselves — even at the risk of making less money.
If your wealth manager is a fiduciary, they’re legally and ethically obligated to have your best interests in mind.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, fiduciaries must inform their clients of ALL conflicts of interest.
For example, suppose a fiduciary receives money on the back end when recommending certain investments to their clients. In that case, that can be considered a conflict of interest.
Furthermore, there’s a legal principle that fiduciaries must follow called the Prudent Person Rule. This rule forces the fiduciary handling your finances to treat your portfolio as they would their own.
Your wealth manager must try to operate in the capacity of someone trying to make money for you while doing their best to protect your capital.
A fiduciary has to be upfront about their fees and all fees associated with transactions on your behalf. No hidden fees.
By contrast, a non-fiduciary wealth manager can recommend investments that bring them high commissions, while neglecting your needs and best interests.
Also, make sure your wealth manager is a fiduciary 100% of the time. Just because someone says they’re fiduciary doesn’t guarantee they always operate in that capacity. In some cases, they may advise you as a fiduciary. In other cases, they may act as non-fiduciary when it suits their hidden financial interests.
Stick to these tips and you just might find a top-grade wealth manager for you on the first click.
Delegating the responsibilities of billions of dollars to a wealth manager is not a joke. Make due diligence in assessing your potential candidates. Do not be in a hurry or it could cost you a big chunk of your property.
Browse through HireQuotient’s assessment library to find the best pre-employment tests out there.
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Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.
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