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What Affluent Investors Know About Wealth Management

Most wealthy investors believe they know what wealth management services are, but they do not agree amongst themselves on all facets of the service.

| BY Kent McDill

Whatever “wealth management services’’ might mean to a wealthy investor, most of them believe they know what they are but less than half of them actually receive those services.

Spectrem’s study Asset Allocation, Portfolios and Primary Providers, asks affluent investors from a range of net worth levels whether they understand the term “wealth management”. The report also asks investors what “wealth management’’ means in terms of specific services, and asked them whether they receive wealth management services or are considering adding them to their financial services package.  Because the understanding and definition of wealth management varies, so do the answers given in the Spectrem study.

For example, among Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million, 93 percent say they know what “wealth management” means, but only 43 percent receive wealth management services. Asked what financial services should be included in wealth management, only 87 percent said “investment planning’’ and only 86 percent said “comprehensive financial planning”.

Eighty-five percent of UHNW investors say “wealth management’’ should include investment management and 84 percent said it should include tax information and advice. Interestingly, only 78 percent believe “wealth management” should include easy contact with a wealth manager to assist with administrative tasks related to investments.

In comparison with UHNW investors, only 84 percent of Millionaire investors (with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million), state they are familiar with what “wealth management’’ means, and only 30 percent currently receive wealth management services. Among Mass Affluent investors (with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million), 69 percent say they are familiar with the meaning of “wealth management’’ and only 14 percent currently receive such services.

There is a strong belief among all wealth segments that wealth management is a service worthwhile only to those who have a very high net worth. Among the Mass Affluent investors, 46 percent believe wealth management is for people richer than they are, and 28 percent of Millionaires feel the same way. Even among the UHNW investors, 15 percent believe they do not have the net worth to make wealth management services a worthwhile investment.

The other perception is that receiving wealth management services is a costly proposition. Among Mass Affluent investors, 34 percent say the term “wealth management’’ makes them feel they are paying too much for services, and surprisingly, that percentage rises as net worth rises. Thirty-six percent of Millionaire investors think wealth management services are too expensive, and 39 percent of UHNW investors think they would pay too much for wealth management services.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.