What is wealth management anyway?
Wealth management refers to a professional service that includes financial and investment strategies aimed at helping individuals and families grow, protect and manage their finances. It typically involves comprehensive financial planning, investment advice, tax planning, estate planning and more.
If you are hoping to grow the wealth of your family and need some advice, a credit union is a great place to start.
Credit unions have branches across Alberta in communities large and small and they offer innovative online tools and apps to make managing your money a breeze (you can find a credit union near you using our map tool here).
Not sure how to get started with wealth management? Follow our four easy steps below!
1. Define your goals and assess your finances.
What do you want to achieve in the short- and long-term? For example, you may be looking to save for retirement, purchase a home, fund your children’s education or starting a business. All these goals will result in a different wealth management plan.
You also need to look your current financial health. Review your income, expenses, assets, liabilities and risk tolerance to better understand your position, as this information will be required to begin the development of your wealth management plan and will help you understand if wealth management is the best focus for you for right now. Sometimes working to pay down debt or build up savings is needed first.
2. Research financial institutions or wealth management firms and talk to your advisor(s).
Next you’ll need to research the various financial institutions and/or wealth management firms that are in your area or serve your specific needs. Most Alberta credit unions offer dedicated investing and wealth management advisors who can help with personalized service and solid advice. Do some research and review the services offered by different firms, considering factors such as the experience and expertise of the team, reviews and fees. For example, if you work in agriculture, you may want someone with an ag background, or if you’re eager to try investing you may want to find a team that can guide you through investment options.
Once you’ve selected the best option for your needs, reach out to schedule an initial meeting and consultation with an advisor. Be sure to come with your information and questions ready! Once you review your financial health and discuss your goals and concerns, ask them to share their personal approach and the services they offer to determine if it is a good fit.
3. Determine your risk tolerance and develop a plan.
Once you decide to proceed, the wealth management advisor will work with you to create a customized plan based on your goals and will work to identify your risk tolerance so you don’t go outside your comfort zone.
The plan may include investment strategies, suggestions for tax or retirement planning and the development of a long- and short-term strategy to ensure your goals can be met. You will work with your advisor to execute the recommendations, which could involve opening or changing investment accounts, adjusting your financial habits and implementing tax planning strategies.
4. Review and update your plan at least once a year – and be patient!
Wealth management is an ongoing process, so it is essential to review your plan periodically with your advisor to ensure it remains aligned to your goals and to adapt to changing market conditions.
You may also need to make necessary adjustments as your circumstances evolve – for example, expanding your family, going back to school or selling your house. It is also important to remember that wealth management is about patience and perseverance, not responding to day-to-day market fluctuations.