Wealth Management 

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, EM Gray & Co

Wealth Management

Tracey O’Reilly-Johnston talks us through wealth management and why we might need advice.

What is wealth management and why is it so important?

The main goal of wealth management is to help you achieve financial security, alongside growing and protecting your existing wealth. In some cases it’s about creating a legacy for your loved ones and your family. 

There are many disciplines and specialisms within financial services: fund managers, financial advisors, even stockbrokers. Simply put, wealth management is a service that brings together all these aspects into one holistic package. 

It’s the process of making decisions about your assets – your financial investments, tax planning, estate planning and other financial matters. It’s entirely based on your own specific goals, needs and ambitions. 

You might be looking to plan for your retirement, or maybe the idea of inheritance tax on your estate is causing you some concern. Perhaps you feel there may be a more efficient way to organise your finances or create generational wealth. A wealth management service can help you take control of your future and make your money work for you. 

The main goal of a wealth management service is to help clients grow and preserve their wealth over the longer term.

Who can benefit from wealth management?

Wealth management can be as simple as investing some of your money, or much more complex and comprehensive – so it can be hard to put a label on it. 

When we meet with a client for the first time, we carry out a full financial review, taking a close look at all areas of their personal finances. Here, we can identify whether you need help in maybe one area, or a broader wealth management approach. 

At EM Gray we don’t really put a limit on it or have a typical client in mind, but there are some firms that will only offer a wealth management service to high net worth clients or people with a minimum investment amount, typically of £250,000 or more. 

But we believe that wealth management is a valuable service for many people. For anyone interested in creating a legacy or mitigating an inheritance tax liability we will be very happy to chat about their particular goals and ambitions and advise them on their options. 

What are some typical reasons why people come to you for wealth management?

Life events occur – and very often a client comes to us having suddenly or unexpectedly come into a large sum of money. This can change your circumstances considerably. Perhaps someone has left you a large amount in their will, or you’re lucky enough to have won the lottery. Receiving large sums of money can actually be quite daunting and overwhelming – financial planning can really help.

We also find that after divorce, the financial considerations can add to what is an already stressful experience. We can help people reorganise their finances and make the best use of their assets. We help them transition into their new normal. 

Selling a business that has been built up can be an exciting and unnerving time for some clients. They’ll have newly acquired wealth to invest and will want it to work hard for them – as they’ve had to work hard to earn it. We provide strategic advice and practical ways to manage wealth before, during and even after the sale of a business. 

We also find ourselves helping clients to plan their finances after a bereavement . It’s very tough – even more so if the person who passed away took care of the money side of things. It may seem very intimidating. We can really work with that client and help them review and replan their finances to allow for the change in circumstances. 

Everyone at some point in their life will benefit in some way from a wealth management service.

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Whenever you choose to seek an advisor we will help you get into a better financial position than you are today.

What is included in wealth management?

A client may have a specific investment need or a goal in mind and there are a few strategies that wealth managers and advisors will use to help. The specific strategies employed will depend on your unique situation and objectives. A wealth manager or advisor will work with you to develop an investment strategy tailored to your goals and your own risk tolerance. Your advisor may also select and manage these investments on your behalf. 

You may have more of an overall financial planning need. Here, a wealth manager can help you develop a financial plan: saving, investing and meeting your spending goals. The advisor can also help you plan for your retirement, save for your children or grandchildren to go to university or other major life events. These plans are revisited periodically as circumstances change. 

Tax advice is another area where a wealth manager can help. We can provide advice on how to structure your finances to minimise your tax liability. That’s especially important if you own your own business or have multiple income streams. 

Estate planning is also a big area for wealth managers. Here we help you plan what will happen to your assets after your death. This could also include creating a will and guiding you on trusts designated for specific beneficiaries. We can help mitigate inheritance tax and ensure that your legacy passes to future generations in the way that you would want. All of that takes careful planning.

Other strategies used by wealth managers and advisors will vary across the industry. On the investment side, the most common strategies will include asset allocation – the process of dividing your investment portfolio among different categories, be they stocks, bonds or gilts. They’ll also ensure there’s diversification so that your risk is managed. This involves investing in a variety of assets to minimise the impact of any losses. 

A good wealth advisor will help you with tax loss harvesting – a strategy used to minimise Capital Gains Tax. You’ll sell off some securities that have experienced little losses and replace them with similar investments.

What costs are involved with wealth management?

Whatever wealth management service you decide to go with, it should be based on your own individual needs and goals. Different wealth management firms charge different fees. They may also require certain minimum levels of assets to assume management over them. 

Those firms may charge you investment related or specific advisory fees. It’s really important that you understand what these are and what products or services they are tied to. Before signing up with an advisor or or a firm, make sure they are someone that you’re comfortable working with and you have confidence in. After all, this person is going to be making decisions about your finances. 

At EM Gray we don’t charge our clients anything for the initial consultation. We will always discuss our fees and charges at the outset with each client and agree them in advance. 

We feel it’s really important that everyone has access to sound financial advice and guidance. Our fees are structured to be fair and good value to our clients, while still allowing us to operate as a business and be there for you.

How can a financial advisor help? 

Wealth management combines financial planning and investment strategies to sustain and grow your wealth. Alongside investment management it’ll also encompass retirement planning, inheritance tax and estate planning. And there’s so much more. 

These are complex areas with many pitfalls to those not overly familiar with them. So engaging with a financial advisor or a wealth manager will help you. A wealth management service gives you investment and advisory services under one roof, to help you implement the most tax efficient, effective financial plan at every stage of your life. 

Everything will be centred on your unique needs and aspirations. Whether you’re planning a child’s education, looking ahead at retirement or wanting to structure or transfer your wealth tax-efficiently, your own dedicated personal wealth manager will use their specialist knowledge to create and manage a bespoke investment solution for you. 

We will ensure that you reach your goals and objectives and we’ll build an enduring and lasting relationship with you. Our clients are busy people – so we want them to focus on what’s important to them. 

For us, looking after your assets and wealth is about far more than just investment management. Your needs and objectives are constantly changing. It’s all part of life. In your 20s and 30s you’re focusing on building your career or your business. You may have the income you need for now. But to build on your capital for later life, you may even sell your business or accumulate your wealth in some other way. 

Later your mindset will change to preserve your capital. You’re going to be thinking more defensively. As you approach retirement you’re going to be seeking a more stable capital base – you may even think about giving away some of your wealth to your family. 

It’s our goal to support you through the various parts of the wealth cycle. We can look at specialist areas: pensions, venture capital, trusts, alternative investment markets, inheritance tax planning and inheritance tax services. 

Clients should only seek these services from those who are suitably qualified. We have a very personal approach to our client relationships. You will always deal directly with an individual advisor. They will be looking after your investments – that way there is a clear understanding of your objectives and requirements and the best possible chance of those being met. 

Your goals and objectives will seem much less challenging with a trusted advisor to support and guide you along the way.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.