Lead generators have come under fire for seeming to push people towards restricted advice models, highlighting several important distinctions investors need to be aware of.
Finding the right wealth manager for your profile and needs has never been easier – or faster – explains Lee Goggin, Co-founder of findaWEALTHMANAGER.com.
Word-of-mouth recommendation is a time-honoured method of finding a wealth manager. But while affluent individuals have long been asking another professionals such as accountants or lawyers for a referral, or asking friends or colleagues for recommendations, the concept of an objective matching process is gaining more traction among both clients and institutions all the time.
One of the reasons behind this is cultural, since the internet information age (and the proliferation of mobile devices) has engendered a powerful instinct for doing one’s own research – in matters of health, entertainment, shopping, holidays, restaurants and personal finance alike.
The second reason is more subtle and really boils down to the recognition that everyone’s financial situation is totally unique to them – therefore it can be relatively meaningless to get a recommendation from a non-professional who does not understand every element of your financial affairs. Not only that, tastes can vary hugely. One individual might favour a very traditional style of wealth manager, while another may prefer a more technologically-orientated institution.
Likewise, while some wealth management clients require a fairly standard financial plan and relatively “vanilla” investments while another highly-sophisticated investor may wish to delve into all manner of alternative investments. How many people would wish to have a wide-reaching conversation with, say, their friend at the golf club or their business associate?
For all these reasons, many people may hesitate to want to recommend – let alone the fact that they perhaps might fear that something could go wrong with the relationship and reflect poorly on them personally. Making personal recommendations, particularly ones of a financial nature, is considered high-stakes by many individuals. With over 200 wealth management firms operating in the UK – ranging from the private banking divisions of global brands to independent boutiques and private client stockbrokers – it is also possible that many individuals simply feel uncomfortable about pronouncing on which one is right for someone else.
Meanwhile, simple logic dictates that attempting to assessing institutions through client forums or other review style websites may not be as reliable as one would hope. By definition, only those with strong enough feelings to post a review will do so, creating a huge bias to extreme experiences – these are obviously likely to those with a grievance rather than happy clients. Unsurprisingly, users have told us that they have found it impossible to know who to trust with influencing them in such an important decision.
The fact that there are hundreds of wealth management institutions to choose from in the UK means that there really is an institution to suit any set of needs and objectives – and at a variety of wealth levels. However, this is also where the challenge of finding the right institution lies too.
Those seeking to meet their best-matched wealth managers for their profile and needs are likely to be simultaneously suffering from a lack and a glut of information.
On the one hand, affluent individuals should know that some wealth managers prefer to keep a very low profile indeed and are so well respected that they are able to attract clients who are in the know without spending money on advertising. These may not rank very highly in internet searches at all.
On the other hand, those seeking a wealth manager can find it all too easy to fall into the trap of carrying out seemingly endless web-based research without coming any closer to a conclusion on the individual brands that might suit them. Knowing the minimum investment level required to access a certain institution’s expertise is something our users tell us they particularly struggled with, as is knowing which styles of investment management are available at which levels.
Furthermore, even if an individual does know which wealth managers they wish to hear more from, how do they know who to contact? While simply calling reception is an option, we find our users prefer having the ability to have a representatives of their best-matched institutions call them at a time that suits them. You can choose to get contacted by your top three wealth managers and we ensure that the right person internally will be on the phone – namely, someone who understands your profile and your needs in some detail already.
In the interim, our users are able to browse our in-depth Wealth Manager Directory, which gives the need-to-know facts about all the institutions represented on our panel; there are also a range of features outlining the ethos and approach of these firms (along with a wealth of investment, legal and lifestyle content). It may be that a certain institution immediately strikes a chord, in which case a filter rather than our usual questionnaire will be applied to determine if the match is still viable before a referral is made.
At present, however, most of our users prefer to maintain a completely open mind and take our insightful yet brief questionnaire and can actually get very curious indeed about which firms our proprietary algorithim has generated as likely good matches.
It may even be the case that taking a few minutes to complete the questionnaire highlights needs and goals that hadn’t really come into focus previously. Our users often tell us that it was therefore a useful exercise in itself – not the mention the long-term benefits that later accrued from taking professional wealth management advice.
To start the process of finding the right wealth manager for your profile and needs simply try our smart online tool. Or, if you would like to discuss your situation with our straight-talking team, please do get in touch here.