Wealth Management is a life-long process. It is not a destination, nor is it one or more products. Financial planning is a part of it, but wealth management is more.
Wealth Management is relatively simple in its most basic concept but very difficult to execute successfully.
Everyone with resources greater than needed for daily subsistence would benefit from the Wealth Management Process. While there are people with great wealth and no process, this usually is the result of “windfall money” or the result of an earning ability that creates wealth faster than it can be dissipated.
Wealth Management seeks to increase one's likelihood of maintaining financial stability for one's entire life, and targets a healthful legacy that can be passed to future generations.
Generally, Wealth Management includes at least the following sub-parts:
- a. Financial Planning, which creates the structure for accumulating, using, preserving and transferring wealth.
b. Estate Planning, which provides for one's loved ones should a catastrophe strike during the “accumulation years,” and which assures that assets and values pass to family and the community in the desired way regardless of death at an early or very old age.
c. Tax Planning, which uses the various tax codes and laws to pay only that which is legal and necessary to achieve one's objectives. Care should be taken with this process, however, for taxes should only be one of several factors to be considered in the estate planning and investment management process.
d. Retirement Planning, which focuses parts of the first three items above toward the one objective almost all individuals share - the desire to enjoy a financially stable life when it is no longer desired or possible to generate more earned income.
e. Asset Management, which is the process of using one's resources to preserve and build more wealth, and/or to generate income.
f. Risk Management, which
- is the process of identifying those things that could jeopardize one's financial stability and interfere with the opportunity to achieve one's lifetime goals, and
- is the implementation of programs and the purchase of products (usually insurance), to minimize, as much as possible, the financial effect of a catastrophic event.
Wealth Management is the umbrella under which all other financial management is executed.
Think of your accumulated assets and your earning ability as a business. An enterprise which can generate income without the owner actively engaged in all activities can generate greater wealth and is more likely to be transferable to others. There is nothing about this process which anyone cannot do alone. However, doing it alone limits growth, increases risk, and takes time away from other phases of life, including family time, exercise and recreation. Those businesses, or wealth managers, who hire professionals have time to focus on what they do best and on what they value the most. If their advisors are selected wisely, their participation will likely also obtain results better than individuals can achieve on their own.
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