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Wealth Manager


How to Become a Wealth Manager
Job Duties of a Wealth Manager
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Wealth Manager
Wealth Manager Salary
Influential Wealth Managers
Leading Wealth Manager Organizations
Top Cities for Wealth Manager Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Wealth Manager

Since wealth management draws on the skills of lawyers, tax professionals, financial planners, bankers, stockbrokers and those involved with real estate, wealth managers and members of wealth management teams, hail from diverse educational backgrounds. These range from undergraduate educations in finance, banking, accountancy and real estate; graduate programs in law and business, to certificates awarded after the successful completion of relevant professional examinations and/or class work.

Educational institutions of varying types, for example, the College of Financial Planning, the New York Institute or Finance and DePaul University, offer professional certificate programs in wealth management. In the U.S., organizations such as the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards certify individuals as CFP's, or certified financial planners, but most successful wealth managers will have qualifications in addition to, or instead of, such certifications. Some wealth managers may have attended law school and be members of the bar in the state in which they work. Others may be former IRS agents, who are now working in the private sector. Still others may have degrees in finance and business and a professional history in banking, investing or revenue management. Frequently, wealth managers will have General Securities "Series 7" licenses, which are awarded after examination, which entitles them to use the title 'Registered Representatives' of broker-dealers in the US. Others will have real estate licenses, also awarded after examination, which allows them to buy and sell real estate in specific communities and states.

Whatever educational diversity and professional nuance exists in the field, one generality can be affirmed, successful wealth managers are, more often than not, highly educated in the fields of finance, securities, law, taxation and real estate. Those wanting to enter the field would therefore do well to attend the relevant college programs and in many cases, graduate programs. Professional experience gained in these fields, after such initial education regimens, can further hone the skills and ensure the marketability, of aspiring financial managers.
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  • Associate of Arts in Financial Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Business - Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Business - Accounting
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    What does a Wealth Manager do?

    Most often employed by banks and various types of investment firms, wealth managers provide financial planning services and investment advice to high net worth individuals. Since the essential goal of any wealth manager is to sustain and increase the long-term wealth of their clients, the profession involves a number of quite diverse disciplines.

    Indeed, wealth managers routinely provide their clients with the following types of services, customized banking solutions, estate and probate planning, general legal counsel, tax advice and investment management. Such a diverse skill-set has led most wealth managers to specialize and work as members of wealth management teams at institutions such as Bank of America, Janus Capital Group, the Charles Schwab Corporation and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and at hedge funds such as Paulson & Co. and Citadel Investment Group.

    What skills or qualities do I need to become a Wealth Manager?

    Since wealth management primarily involves capital custodianship, successful professionals must possess excellent financial instincts, advanced calculation skills and the ability to plan for future market advances, disruptions and downturns. This third skill demands they possess research abilities and the capacity for abstract and imaginative thought.

    Moreover, wealth managers must have at least a rudimentary understanding of capital economics, major investment theories and the networked web of modern global markets. Since they manage vast sums of money for other people, it goes without saying that they must also be ethical, trustworthy and free of any felonious record involving larceny, fraud or intentional mismanagement.

    How much does a Wealth Manager make?

    In most major markets, wealth managers earn about double the average US salary of $30,000/annum. In New York, professionals in the field can earn between $65-85,000 at major banks and investment houses. In Los Angeles, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Miami, and Seattle they can expect to earn around $10,000 less.

    An exception to these figures would be wealth managers working at hedge funds. In markets like San Francisco and New York, these people routinely earn $100,000 or more per year. The salaries of managers at the most successful funds, for example, Harbinger Capital Partners and SAC Capital Advisors, can expect to earn into the millions and even billions of dollars.


    Who are some influential professionals in this field?

    Influential wealth managers work at major banks and investment houses across the US. Many of these houses have already been mentioned, but others include JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Och-Ziff Capital Management. The managers of such funds are often wealthy and famous in their own rights, for example, T. Boone Pickens at BP Capital Management, Steven Cohen at SAC Capital Advisors and Jim Simmons at Renaissance Technologies.

    Major banks, such as Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and UBS also offer diverse wealth management services and employ any number of lawyers, tax professionals and investment bankers as part of their capital management teams.

    What are some leading organizations in this field?

    Aside from the various professional organizations that wealth managers belong to by virtue of being lawyers, bankers and tax professionals, professionals in the field also frequently belong to the AIWM, Association of International Wealth Management (http://www.aiwm.org/) and subscribe to publications such as 'Wealth Management Review'.

    Moreover, they will frequently attend continuing education seminars offered by institutes like the Chartered Financial Institute, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and any other number of business schools across the United States.

    What are the top cities for Wealth Manager jobs?

    Since wealth management is inexorably attached to high net worth individuals, professionals in the field can find the best opportunities in the two traditional centers of American private wealth, Los Angles and New York. Cities like New York, Chicago and Charlotte are also major banking and investment centers and therefore offer prospective and upwardly mobile wealth managers excellent professional opportunities.

    However, with the boom in private wealth that has occurred over the past twenty years, cities like Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Las Vegas now have many high net worth individuals who are in need of professional guidance. Moreover, retirement centers like Phoenix and Miami enjoy a greater than average number of people with large capital reserves, who are in need of investment advice, custom banking services and tax guidance. Finally, New York and San Francisco serve as the two major centers of hedge fund management.

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