What Does a Wealth Strategist Do?
A wealth strategist is primarily involved in financial planning and asset management for families and individuals. Tasks usually include financial counseling and regular meetings with clients, as well as actual asset allocation and monitoring. Most wealth strategists act as money managers, making recommendations about where funds should be invested and helping clients structure trusts and other investment vehicles to maximize growth over time.
The job of a wealth strategist usually has its roots in financial planning, but with an eye towards managing vast amounts of money. While financial planning can apply to anyone at any income level, including corporations, wealth strategy usually concerns affluent people with significant capital at their disposal. Very wealthy individuals and families usually have unique concerns when it comes to long-term investing, interest payments, and tax liabilities. A wealth strategist usually dedicates him or herself only to issues in this arena.
Client communication is one of the most important wealth strategist duties. In many respects, the strategist is the coordinator of the client’s financial “team.” He or she must cultivate a relationship with clients as well as their families, where applicable. Personal rapport is important to building trust, and trust is usually essential to relationships that revolve around money management.
Analysis is also a major part of the job. After gathering all of a family’s financial data and listening to their goals, the strategist must look at different investment options. Strategists usually have expert knowledge of different markets and investment structures, and they must apply this expertise to the client’s specific needs and long-term interests.
Most of the time, wealth strategists come up with several different potential investment strategies for each client. During meetings, the strategist will outline each option and explain the differences, potential benefits, and any attached risks. He or she usually acts as a coach, helping the clients to make the best possible decision while largely remaining neutral. Ultimate financial decisions need to be the clients’, though the strategist is often an invaluable resource and guide.
Once decisions are made, the strategist must execute. This often involves purchasing stocks and bonds, opening mutual fund accounts, and drafting trust instruments as the plan requires. The strategist must be careful to document everything, keeping a copy in the office and sending a copy to the clients. In some places, financial and investment transactions must also be reported to government taxation authorities. The wealth strategist is usually responsible for handling all necessary filings.
A strategist’s job is usually much more on-going than simply allocating funds, however. Monitoring investments and tracking their gains and losses is also an important responsibility. The strategist must usually keep a close eye on all holdings and make recommendations for shifts when market forces change.
Depending on where a wealth strategist works, he or she may also have certain obligations to a firm or employer. Some strategists are independent, but most work in planning firms, usually in association with other similarly-trained professionals. Additional wealth strategist requirements like client retention and quota systems, meeting attendance, and regular numbers reporting are often also parts of the job. This sometimes involves client outreach, conference presentations and participation, and advertising efforts.
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