As our firm has broadened to incorporate the full-service financial services our clients need, this has brought up many conversations for those who are integrating their insurance, tax, asset protection, and estate needs all at once. Making sure you have the right team around you is crucial for protecting your interests and covering all your bases.
Many terms around financial planning and strategy are thrown around interchangeably, but asset management and wealth management should not be confused. Wealth management refers to focusing on tax planning and saving for retirement in addition to broader financial concerns, such as trust management, estate planning and insurance protection.
A wealth manager is your financial advisor who specializes in those clients who have a high net worth. This means that a financial wealth manager is able to provide insight on financial aspects that go far beyond the physical assets you own. Asset management, however, is a service provided with the goal of growing your money. The primary purpose of an asset manager is to focus on your investments and this person can be referred to as a financial advisor, investment advisor, registered investment advisor or even investment broker. This person can work individually or as part of a bigger company that focuses on asset management. Make sure that you recognize that an asset manager may or may not be a fiduciary.
A fiduciary is a person with a legal responsibility to handle your assets in a particular way with integrity. Not all asset managers are automatic fiduciaries. Be aware that wealth management services may also require a minimum amount of assets under management. Working with an asset manager instead of a wealth manager is one option if you do not have assets large enough to meet other requirements. Set aside a time to work with an experienced and qualified financial team to assist you with your next steps.