How To Be a Wealth Manager (With Tips To Advance Your Career)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 25 October 2022

Published 18 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Wealth management plays a major role in the preservation of financial assets. It may be a successful and fulfilling profession for those who are interested in finance and have strong interpersonal skills. If you're contemplating a career as a wealth manager, you may first be aware of their responsibilities, educational qualifications and job outlook. In this article, we discuss what a wealth manager does, how to be a wealth manager, what requirements exist to become one and how to advance yourself in this profession.

What does a wealth manager do?

A wealth manager is someone who handles the financial assets of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). HNWIs are those with a net worth of more than $1 million in investable assets. UHNWIs are individuals or families with possession of more than $30 million. Instead of bearing the difficult burden of managing their assets independently, wealthy individuals frequently delegate the management of their financial assets to trustworthy and dependable wealth managers.

Wealth managers are responsible for two major duties: financial planning, which entails developing a strategy to achieve particular financial goals as well as portfolio management, which entails purchasing and selling investment assets and monitoring the portfolio. Legal and estate preparation and counselling are also part of the job. To create their clients' wealth management plans, wealth managers frequently collaborate with other specialists such as bankers, attorneys, investment advisers and auditors. When a customer already has many advisers, wealth managers engage and communicate with them to better understand their client's financial condition. The additional responsibilities of wealth managers include the following:

  • Strategic investment

  • Tax preparation

  • Real estate planning

  • Corporate social planning

  • Risk management and mitigation

  • Asset protection

  • Legal guidance and advice

  • Insurance assessment and selection

  • Banking services (cash and loans management)

  • Retirement planning

  • Business planning

Related: Q&A: Why Pursue a Career in Wealth Management? (Plus Salary)

How to be a wealth manager

There's no fixed pathway to kickstart your career as a wealth manager. But typically, you can complete your relevant education and get many professional experiences to advance as a wealth manager. Outlined below are the steps on how to be a wealth manager:

1. Pursue your degree and education

A bachelor's or master's degree in finance, business management or economics is common among wealth managers. Because certain businesses prefer to recruit graduates, post-graduate degrees might provide you with a competitive advantage. While pursuing your studies, go out to your university's alumni network event to talk with financial specialists. These financial professionals can provide you with information and insights on several areas of specialisation. Moreover, this opportunity can refine your networking skills, which are crucial for a wealth manager.

2. Gather experience

Obtaining experience in the legal or financial field may help you advance your career as a wealth manager. Internships and paid jobs can help you develop a variety of useful skills. You can learn many valuable skills through internships and entry jobs. Listed below are examples of entry- and mid-level jobs that can help you pave your way in the wealth management industry:

  • Junior private banker

  • Account relationship manager

  • Financial planner

  • Financial adviser

  • Tax adviser

  • Junior product specialist

  • Junior investment generalist

Related: What Is Asset Management? (Plus Types and Benefits)

3. Obtain certification

Many wealth and asset management certificates can equip you with qualifications to help you become a wealth manager. Although certification isn't required, it might help you win the trust of hiring managers and clients. Certification serves as an objective validation of your skills and competence.

Related: 8 Wealth Management Specialist Certification Options to Explore

4. Expand your professional network

Strive to develop a network of clients and colleagues of financial experts as a working professional. While networking might lead to enhanced career possibilities, it can also boost your confidence, credibility, reputation and general knowledge. You may use resources such as podcasts, books, journals and websites to learn how to build and manage a professional network in the finance industry.

Read more: A Complete Guide on How to Build a Network (Plus Benefits)

What education do you need to become a wealth manager?

Pursuing your career as a wealth manager involves an extensive understanding of the stock market, local and international tax regulations and how the banking industry operates in general. A considerable number of wealth managers possess a background in accounting, financial planning or investment advisory. A bachelor's or master's degree in business management or finance is an excellent means to get the education you need for this role.

If you choose to pursue a post-graduate degree, a Master of Trust and Wealth Management may teach you about personal financial planning, risk compliance, insurance management, estate planning and risk mitigation. There are other MBA programmes that provide specific degrees for asset and wealth specialities. If you already work in finance and wish to pursue wealth management, you may enrol in highly specialised wealth management courses available at various business schools or certification institutes.

What skills do you need to become a wealth manager?

Outlined below are a combination of hard and soft skills to succeed as a wealth manager:

  • People skills: A wealth manager works with people to develop a network and establish relationships with HNWIs and UHNWIs.

  • Sales skills: Sales skills are particularly advantageous since they can help you establish yourself as a competent professional who can provide assistance to your clients.

  • Strong communication skills: Working as a wealth manager necessitates self-assurance and the ability to have meaningful conversations with clients.

  • Trustworthiness: Discretion and trustworthiness are essential traits as wealth managers use to handle and manage sensitive information pertaining to the assets of their clients.

  • Analytical skills: Wealth managers benefit from robust analytical skills when understanding and interpreting market patterns and trends as well as complicated financial data.

  • Interpersonal skills: Strong interpersonal and listening skills assist wealth managers in understanding their clients' requirements and providing recommendations, as well as establishing connections with them.

  • Research skills: Quality research and a thorough grasp of the market are essential for the success of wealth managers. To advise your customer on their next step, you can extensively study the facts related to the relevant financial assets.

  • Dependability: As a wealth manager, your clients heavily rely on you for their financial assets. Work on being dependable to provide your clients with a sense of assurance and peace of mind.

  • Adaptability and flexibility: Because market conditions and client demands might change rapidly, the ability to adjust is an important skill for a wealth manager.

  • Proactivity: A wealth manager can propose tangible and effective solutions to clients. This requires the ability to approach any situation proactively in order to devise effective plans.

  • Robust customer service: The skill to prioritise your clients' requirements and respond to their queries helps to build excellent client relationships and enhances your personal reputation.

  • Product knowledge: You are to keep yourself updated on the latest financial instruments available to provide the best recommendations for your clients.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

Salary and job outlook for wealth managers

When you work as a wealth manager for a firm, your salary is typically a combination of base pay and commission pay. As a wealth manager, your base pay is highly dependent on your level of education, experience and expertise. For the other part of your salary, you can charge clients a one- to two-percent commission fee on their net assets under your management. The national average salary for a wealth manager is $68,517 annually.

How do you advance in your career as a wealth manager?

The following are tips to advance in your profession as a wealth manager:

1. Select your employer wisely

When starting out as a wealth manager, you have the option of working for yourself or for an established firm. The various firms that require wealth management services encompass banks, investment consultants, brokerage companies, trust firms, insurance firms, multi-family offices and money management companies. Choosing the right employer that fits your passion and interests from the start of your career can play a major role in your advancement opportunities.

2. Progress in your career

Wealth managers generally advance through three stages in their careers:

  • Junior private banker

  • Wealth manager or private banker

  • Senior wealth manager

You can often begin as a junior private banker, assisting more experienced private bankers with particular customer requests. You can also offer financial product recommendations. Once you've obtained enough experience, you can level up to become a wealth manager or private banker. Consequently, after a couple of years of experience as an expert wealth manager, you can advance to become a senior wealth manager. After wealth managers have gained sufficient expertise, they usually establish or join family offices, which are private firms that provide services to affluent families. These firms usually provide property administration and management, wealth management and bookkeeping services.

Related: 43 Banking Interview Questions (With Sample Responses)

3. Cultivate new skills

Outlined below are some pointers to continuously grow your wealth manager career:

  • Enhance your technical skills: Knowledge of information technology can assist you in using various financial asset applications and accounting software.

  • Learn a foreign language: Learning foreign languages, such as German, Japanese, Italian, Russian and Korean, can aid you in communicating with clients from other countries and increase your bargaining power with employers.

  • Find a mentor: A mentor can provide you guidance when you start out as a junior wealth manager. They can offer insights and model examples of the type of mentality and mindset so as to persist in the field.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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