The role of an asset manager encompasses more than just providing investment counseling and overseeing portfolios. These individuals help clients take positive steps towards meeting their specific financial goals. Planning for major life-changing events like buying a home, having a child, or getting a college education requires the skill and guidance of experienced advisors to turn those dreams into reality.
Estate-planning and developing strategies for a comfortable retirement both require the kind of expertise that a trained and experienced professional can provide for clients. With the ever-changing tax laws and the volatility of the financial world, trying to develop a cohesive and flexible approach to managing resources is a complex task. Utilizing the services of an experienced financial advisor can make these decisions much less daunting.
Qualifications And Certifications
An asset manager is required to attain professional certifications in order to perform his/her role. Organizations such as FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) have rigorous licensure and testing requirements that must be met in order to perform various investment and financial functions. The most common of these is the Series 6 (Investment Companies/Variable Products Representative Exam), Series 7 (General Securities Representative Exam) and the Series 65 (Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam).
Other professional designations require specialized study and state licensure in order to qualify for advisory and management positions. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP), the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA), and the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) are three examples of these designations. In each case, both educational and testing requirements must be met. Continuing education is also mandated in order to keep individuals with these designations current on changes in the law and regulations.
In addition to licensed and certified financial analysts, there is often a group of supporting professionals that consult or advise as to accounting or legal matters. Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, and other support members ensure that the oversight of clients’ funds meet all appropriate accounting and legal standards.
Features Of Wealth Management
Perhaps the most important feature that should be looked for when selecting an asset manager is whether or not the service is “fee-only.” This refers to the fiduciary fee that’s charged for the managing and administration of a client’s account. As such, there is no compensation received from companies offering investment products, which maintains the autonomy of the financial representative-client relationship.
A fee-based service receives fees from clients as well as commissions from providers of various investment products. This can create the potential for the appearance of unwanted or unexpected influence by third parties regarding decisions or advice offered by the advisor.
Asset management involves a blend of investment planning and guidance tailored to the individual needs of each person. These services may include estate planning, investment counseling, and unbiased observations concerning financial choices. As most investors lack the access to the kind of information available to these professionals, the information provided can be of critical importance in planning for a sunny, financial future.