Wealth Preservation

Advice for Growing, Protecting and Transferring Wealth

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How to Select Your Wealth Manager

Chances are you've spent a lifetime saving what you have.


In fact, maybe it’s been two lifetimes, yours plus that of your spouse. Doesn’t it make sense to work with a professional who can help you protect and preserve what you’ve earned?


When considering a wealth manager look for someone who is independent and offers unbiased and objective investment advice, so each party’s interest is properly aligned. And as you should be working together for a long time, be sure you are comfortable with your wealth manager.


While many professionals can offer financial services such as stock brokers and accountants as well as bank and insurance company representatives, these types of “advisors” tend to fall into two categories:


Investment generalists: These offer a broad range of investment products but do not specialize in a single product type or specialized service. While they offer many different products, they do not make consulting an essential part of their business model rather they are “transaction focused.”


Product specialists: These focus exclusively on an investment-oriented product niche and frequently offer a single product type as a “solution.” They often offer such products as managed accounts, stocks or fixed-income alternatives. This can be especially problematic for those who may need a variety of financial solutions. Like investment generalists, these advisors do not have a consultative orientation and tend to be transactional.


Wealth managers: These advisors take a comprehensive approach to meeting your needs and use a highly consultative plan to construct integrated strategies for your specific problems. While many advisors call themselves wealth managers, the following hallmarks are of those who truly practice wealth management:

  • Consultative Process: They establish a close relationship with you to gain a detailed understanding of your goals and most important financial wants and needs
  • Customized Choices: Wealth managers take into account a range of interrelated financial services, such as investment management, insurance, estate planning and retirement planning. Their solutions should be designed to meet your specific needs.
  • Unique Strategies: Your wealth manager should work with you on an ongoing basis to identify your specific needs while designing custom strategies to meet them.
  • Tax Planning = Tax Minimization: Holding onto your money is as important as earning it. A wealth manager can provide a wide range of tax-minimization products such as individual 401(k) plans which work like 401(k) plans offered by large companies, as well as SEP-IRAs designed for the self-employed. Unlike other retirement plans, an individual 401(k) is strictly for sole proprietors and entrepreneurs with no other employees (although your spouse may contribute if he or she earns income from your business).
  • Tactical Investing Could you benefit from a unique strategy focusing on wide participation in rising markets while providing loss protection in down markets? Would you like to manage “risk” from your perspective? True wealth managers often offer the flexibility to be fully invested and to re-allocate to “defensive” sectors, or to cash equivalents in down markets. When you enter the
    “draw-down stage,” you likely will need some growth of capital to help preserve your nest egg. Combining risk management with upside potential can provide a true, long-term investment strategy.


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