Safeguarding and building your family’s private wealth can be intimidating, especially if you shoulder most of the burden. Even if you’re ready to enlist professional assistance, knowing where to start can itself prove challenging. This is especially true when navigating the many labels for various financial experts.
What is the difference between a wealth manager and a financial advisor? The answer will help you determine which professional is best suited to secure your financial future.
The Role of a Financial Advisor
A financial advisor is a general term that can apply to any expert who offers specialized financial services. Some advisors specialize in investment management, while others focus on retirement planning or other financial services.
An advisor will assess your entire financial picture and create a customized plan for achieving your short- and long-term goals concerning a specific financial need — like life insurance planning, for example.
After helping you strategize, they’ll develop a written plan outlining your next steps. If you need services outside their purview, they’ll direct you to another financial advisor, probably within their firm.
The Role of a Wealth Manager
A wealth manager is a specific type of financial advisor who works with high net-worth clients and offers a comprehensive advisory package. This allows you to work with one advisor for all your financial needs.
In other words, you have access to most financial services through one account managed by an expert devoted to your success. It’s a holistic approach, which means your wealth manager is highly involved in your finances and works with you to achieve the best possible financial outcomes.
Even though you interface with just one expert, you still benefit from the expertise of various specialists. Your wealth manager will coordinate with other professionals and members of the firm on your behalf.
Knowing When to Hire a Wealth Manager
So what’s the difference between a wealth manager and a financial advisor? Consider these important differences before taking your next step:
- A wealth manager typically works with high net-worth individuals and might have a minimum asset requirement in place. Sometimes the minimum is as high as $250,000, $1 million, or more, depending on the firm. For example, SkyOak requires that at least $250,000 is placed under management with us. However, financial advisors often work with any individual requesting services.
- A wealth manager’s services are comprehensive, including most (if not all) of your financial needs. On the other hand, a financial advisor’s services are specialized, which means you might need to work with several experts to achieve your goals.
- A wealth manager maintains a close but professional relationship with you, using a more hands-on approach. In contrast, a financial advisor helps you outline a plan to meet your goals but doesn’t become actively involved in managing your wealth or portfolio.
Breaking Down the Differences
Choose a wealth manager if you have a high net worth and want comprehensive financial management services. This is especially true if you’re interested in working with a single expert who undertakes an active role in your financial management.
A financial advisor might be your best option if you have one or two specific financial service needs. In that case, look for an advisor specializing in one or both of those areas. You might also opt for an advisor with a general background like a certified financial planner.
Free One-Hour Consultation With a Wealth Management Advisor
As registered investment advisors, SkyOak offers a host of comprehensive services to manage your investments and plan for your financial future.
If you already have specific goals in mind or would like to learn more about our offered services, you can conveniently book your free consultation online.
Still interested in a more in-depth answer to the difference between a wealth manager and a financial advisor? We can offer a more personalized response and information about our services when you contact us.