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WM = IC + AP + RM
Wealth Management = Investment Consulting + Advanced Planning + Relationship Management
We define Wealth Management with the following formula: Wealth Management equals Investment Consulting plus Advanced Planning plus Relationship Management. Anyone who offers Wealth Management offers Investment Consulting, some better than others. The second component is Advanced Planning. This involves a wide spectrum and a wide variety of advanced planning issues that we will address in a moment. The third is Relationship Management.
Let’s talk about Advanced Planning. What do we mean by that? With Advanced Planning the first step is Wealth Enhancement, which has everything to do with increasing your cash flow by reducing taxes and reducing the cost of debt. One thing that we are going to focus on while we go down this path is routinely coming together and introducing strategies that will boost your cash flow.
The second area is Wealth Transfer, which means if something happens to you, your assets will transfer to your heirs and people you care about, with minimal taxes a minimum of paperwork and hassle.
The next area is Wealth Protection. This is one of the icebergs under the water in the financial area that can sink your boat: fires, floods, theft, death, disability and identity theft. What we want to do is come to you routinely with well-defined strategies that will prevent your wealth from being unjustly taken from you.
The last component is Charitable Giving. As we talked about is one of the things that is really important to you in your life is making a dent in the universe. We know you are committed to making a giant impact in the world beyond your lifetime, so we are going to be looking for ways to ensure that way your charitable investments will have the best tax consequences and the maximum impact to the charities you care about.
The next area is Relationship Management. There are two components that equate to Relationship Management. The first component is Client Relationship Management. What we are going to do is define and structure a frequency of how often we are going to get together. What works best for you, how often you want to sit down and work together physically, whether you like services like Skype, whether you want all of your documents to be saved in a vault versus being mailed to you, whether you prefer email or written communication, etc.
The second component is the Expert Team, composed of a select group of qualified professionals brought in to assist you. We have gone into the community through the years and vetted legal, accounting, high-end risk management and life insurance professionals in town to identify a small group of professionals we feel have the best technical abilities and the best client experience, and we get together to review case studies on our best clients. Basically, it allows us to come to you without having a lot of billable hours attached for high-end technical advice on accounting and legal issues.
So that is how we define Wealth Management. A lot people talk about it. Sadly, the research shows that less than 6.6 percent of advisors surveyed employ wealth management’s fundamentals,1 and we are absolutely committed to delivering world-class Wealth Management to you if we decide to work together.
We use a five-step wealth management process as a parameter for working with clients. It begins with a Discovery Meeting where we ask you 64 questions around the seven major themes of wealth management. At the end of the meeting, it will be very clear if you are being well served by your current advisor, if you would be well served by another advisor that we can refer you to or if we can provide you the largest impact. If we can provide a significant impact, we will invite you to our Investment Plan Meeting, which will be scheduled 7-14 days from the Discovery Meeting to give us ample time to reflect on what you have shared with us. At the Investment Plan Meeting, we will present to you a simple one-page diagram that will show where you are now, where you want to go and all of those things we have talked about. Then we will have a very detailed dialogue about how your capital is managed and where we think we can help you get what you’re looking for: better returns, fewer tax consequences and a lower cost of your asset management approach. Then we would schedule a third visit that we call the Mutual Commitment Meeting. We are looking for lifelong relationships. We are not interested in acquiring too many clients – just the right ones – and in the third visit, we will mutually commit. We will go over any lingering questions and any questions on whether you would be a good fit for our practice. At that point, we will do the paperwork if we feel it is time to move forward, and between then and the next in our next visit we will get our Expert Team involved.
At the 45-Day Meeting, all we are going to do is make it simple. We want you to put all of that paperwork in a bag and bring it in, and we will get it all organized for you and set everything up electronically, and then show you how to access everything electronically.
1. Source: ‘Best Practices of Elite Advisors, CEG Worldwide LLC, 2007.