Wealth management is an industry buzzword, but a lot of affluent folks don't like the term.
According to a survey of 503 households with at least $500,000 in investable assets conducted last summer by Spectrem Group, 41% of respondents either "strongly disagree" or "disagree" that the term "wealth management" appeals to them. The percentage comfortable with the term increases as wealth level increases, and is more acceptable to senior level executives than to business owners.
As for the type of services offered under the "wealth management" umbrella, the affluent most want them to include comprehensive financial planning (78%), estate planning (68%) and tax planning (64%). Legacy planning to pass along wealth to the next generation was next (59%), followed by asset management (57%).
The survey also found that independent financial planners (29%), independent investment advisors (15%) and full-service brokers (18%) were by far the ones the affluent turn to first for assistance.
In addition, 59% of respondents prefer to pay a fixed fee, rather than commission, although business owners have a stronger preference (67%) than senior corporate executives (48%) for fees. Additionally, 24% are not aware their financial provider has wealth management programs. Of those who are aware, only 32% of those with less than $1 million in assets, and 51% with more than $1 million in assets, are taking advantage of the wealth management services.
This suggests advisors would do well to clearly define their client base and make sure clients know the services offered, the study concludes.