Making the most of your wealth
When your assets pass a certain level, managing them can become a job in itself. Even if you have the necessary expertise, this probably isn’t how you wish to spend much of your time. For this reason, many people employ a specialist wealth manager to supervise their assets on their behalf.
Besides saving you time and effort, a wealth manager can help you take the best decisions, select the best products, ensure that your portfolio remains aligned with your life goals, achieve maximum growth, balance risk and reward, and help you make the most of your wealth.
Why use a wealth manager?
An independent wealth manager is paid to act in your best interests. You can therefore have maximum confidence that the recommendations they make will be offered solely on that basis. Although you can of course invest directly through investment platforms, these platforms cannot give you impartial advice, since ultimately they must look after their own interests.
Although you might associate wealth managers only with the most affluent individuals, many people on more modest incomes may have need of their services. For example, if a parent dies and leaves a property as inheritance, decisions must be made over where and how to store the money.
Here are some reasons why you might engage a wealth manager
- You have excess income and don’t want to be confined to cash savings
- You have a large sum from an inheritance and want to make it work
-Your pension is a SIPP and you want help managing it
-You run a business and would like expert help with investing its capital
-You spend time outside the UK and want to optimise your tax position
-You want to plan your estate before leaving it to beneficiaries
Find out more about managing your money.
A wealth manager can help you find the best ways to grow your wealth and beat inflation.
Your wealth manager can identify areas of tax inefficiency in your finances and fix them.
Get expert advice
A wealth manager will help you choose the best investment products from the whole of the market.
How a wealth manager can help you
Here are some of the key areas in which a wealth manager’s expertise
can make a difference.
Savings and investments
Your wealth manager can help you find the best balance of cash savings and other investments, based on factors such as your life goals, your attitude to risk, and other personal circumstances. This will help you find the optimum balance between growing investments and accessible funds. As your assets grow and your circumstances change, your adviser can rebalance your portfolio to suit your new situation and keep it aligned with your needs.
Maximising your pension
Your pensions are a key pillar of your finances. If you’re a higher earner you can benefit from higher rate tax relief, and you may want to supplement workplace pensions with your own SIPP. Your wealth manager can advise you on how to optimise your pensions. You must also comply with both the annual and lifetime pension allowances. Your adviser can ensure that you do not accidentally exceed these limits and incur a tax bill.
Your wealth manager can work alongside your accountant to maximise the value it generates for you, and vice versa. For example, they can help you find the best way to take an income, separate personal and business assets, and invest business assets effectively.
If you spend only some of your time in the UK and some of it abroad, it may affect how you pay income tax. A good wealth manager should be an expert in expatriate taxes, helping you work out how much tax you owe in each country where you live and work, and ensuring you are not overcharged.
Leaving an inheritance can be a big task if you have a lot of assets. To minimise your final inheritance tax bill, you will usually have to start planning years in advance. Here a wealth manager can be invaluable, as they can start to reduce the size of your taxable estate in the most strategic way (often using trusts), while leaving you enough liquid assets to maintain your lifestyle.
Saving time and effort
One of the most valuable aspects of having a wealth manager is that it takes away the burden of organising your finances yourself. You can simply discuss your goals and state your wishes, and your wealth manager will take care of the details. This frees up your time for what you’d rather be doing: either enjoying your wealth, or making more of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a wealth manager charge in fees?
Wealth management is an ongoing service, usually paid for either by a flat fee or by a percentage of the assets under management. A typical fee might be between 0.25 per cent and 1 per cent of assets, though some may charge a different percentage depending on circumstances. Talk to your wealth manager to find out exactly what service you are receiving for this ongoing charge, and ask whether it is dependent on a certain level of gain.
For more information, see our article on financial adviser fees.
Can a wealth manager help me avoid tax?
An independent financial adviser will generally caution you against artificial ‘tax avoidance’ schemes. Even if these schemes follow the letter of the law, HMRC tends to frown on them if their primary purpose is to reduce tax. Instead, your wealth manager will identify any areas where you are paying more tax than you need (e.g. by not claiming your
higher-rate tax relief on your pension, or being taxed in more than one jurisdiction) and will help you resolve these issues to save money.
I’m not a higher earner – do I need a wealth manager?
Although wealth managers are generally used by those on higher incomes, you may need one if you have a windfall, e.g. an inheritance. A wealth manager can advise you on what to do with a large sum of money from a house sale, for example.
How do I choose the right wealth manager for me?
Most wealth managers will offer a free initial consultation so that they can get a clear idea of your needs, while you find out what they can potentially offer you. At this meeting they will explain their services and charging structure to you, so that you can judge whether they will provide you with value for money. You may want to consult with several different advisers before choosing your wealth manager. You can set up an initial consultation by using Unbiased to find an independent financial adviser who specialises in wealth management.