Managing the expectations of clients of wealth managers

Clients know it all, and want instant satisfaction. 

With the Web putting information at everyone’s fingertips in an instant, advisers face a lot of know-it-all clients. Many clients feel their Internet research makes them more knowledgeable than the advisors are.

Many clients also want instant gratification. Jacoline Loewen says, “We need to recognize this phenomenon and try to set realistic expectations for our clients…regarding the process, timing, potential complications, fees and likely results.”

Jacoline Loewen
LinkedIn profile for Jacoline Loewen

The sale of a business brings wealth and other unspoken isues

A business sale creates wealth, and unease. 

When a business owner cashes in and sells an enterprise, it often brings some confusion–even unhappiness–along with new wealth. This may seem to be similar to that internet meme - First World Problems. Think about it. People hear you are suddenly wealthy and that you should invest in your neice's startup.

To be of help in that situation, advisers may need to step outside their own comfort zone and discuss non-financial issues with clients. Advisors can help their client to focus on a new set of goals.

Jacoline Loewen is a Director with UBS Bank and writes about M&A, private equity and wealth management for business owners and entrepreneurs. You can follow her on Twitter @jacolineloewen or contact her at jacoline.loewen at ubs.com

The benefits of tax-loss and investing

Benefits of tax-loss harvesting are inflated. 

Some so-called robo-advisers may be overstating the benefits of tax-loss harvesting. Some of the claims we’ve seen are unrealistic given our more than a decade of experience managing tax loss harvesting portfolios and results we’ve seen from competitors we respect

The claims made by online advisors arguably represent the triumph of favorably simulated back-tested results over actual experience.

Wealthy families and their trusts

Trusts that use multiple advisers. 
Traditionally, the directed trust model called for electing a trustee and an investment adviser. Now, the wealthiest families are slicing and dicing trustee duties into many different functions
Directed trusts are showing up with as many as eight different roles, including a “special assets advisor,” a “distribution advisor” and a “trust protector.”

More Women reaching the Billionnaires List

There is a strong showing of women making it to the Billionaires' List, and not all through the old fashioned way of death of a spouse or divorce.
Forbes has the list and tech is the foundation of the wealth of oly two of the women. I thought there would be more. Here it is:
Women make up 10% of global super-rich and 172 women, 25% more than in 2013, are in renowned club of billionaires.
 From the Facebook executive who told women to "lean in" to get ahead at work, to a Nigerian oil tycoon and a British online gambling entrepreneur, a record number of women have entered the global club of billionaires.
A total of 172 women, up 25% on 2013, have made Forbes' 28th annual billionaires' list. Women now make up 10% of the global super-rich.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, with a personal fortune worth more than $1bn (£600m), becomes one of the highest-profile new entrants to the Forbes list, joining Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard as the only other female tech billionaire.
According to Forbes, a record number of 42 women broke into the list for the first time, although only 32 female billionaires (1.9% of the total) built their own fortune, rather than inheriting it from a parent or husband.
The world's richest woman is Christy Walton, who shares a $36.7bn chunk of the Walmart fortune, edging out one of L'Oréal's principal shareholders, Liliane Bettencourt.
One of the top UK entrants is Denise Coates, the British online gambling queen who, along with her brother, owns Bet365. Coates was at school when she started working as a cashier in her father's betting shops and has amassed $1.6bn in personal wealth.
Fiercely private, she has escaped almost all press attention in the UK despite Bet365 taking almost £20bn in bets and making £150m in profits in the year to March 2013.
In a rare interview two years ago, Coates told the Guardian how she has, on occasion, had to correct some people who had assumed that her father, a well-known businessman, ran the company. Her business, which employs 2,500 workers, mostly in Stoke-on-Trent, made a £150m profit last year, even after swallowing £31m of losses from Bet365's controlling interest in Stoke City football club
Coates, who owns half the business, received pay and bonuses of £5.4m, as well as her share of £15m in dividends. Even after these payouts the company had a further £430m in cash reserves on the balance sheet. In the past five years, Bet365 has paid out dividends totalling £130m.
A total of nine women feature in the top 85.

Jacoline Loewen
Jacoline Loewen
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacolineloewen

The democratizing of financial services

A few years ago, I began to hear about the democratization of investing into private equity.  It was recognized that the earnings can be significant. Allowing the grandmother investor, for example, to put money into privately owned companies in the same way the public stock market allows, will have a way to go.
Currently, one way that was created to allow the average joe to invest with minimal knowledge is by going into your bank and selecting mutual funds. They show up on your bank app and give a pretty reasonable return.
Using the TFSA account, the average person could also invest into a startup but maybe (probably) lose their investment as the risk is so high at such an early stage.
So although we do have some democratization of the investment opportunities, the Canadian retail banks do offer their mutual funds which are a great start, the fees are hidden and do take a significant chunk of the returns.
We will come back to mutual funds and other investments where you can get started. In the meantime, one of my favourite motivational coaches, Tony Robbins, has put out a book on Money. In it, one his themes was about - surprise - democratizing investments. I liked his message:

Think about the four main elements that impact our quality of life: our relationships, emotions, health, and money. The most difficult one for many people to manage—and a frequent source of widespread confusion and anxiety—is the money.
2015 is the year that will change.
The One Big Idea for 2015 is the democratization of financial services, which means that for the first time, everyone will have access to the unbiased advice and education they need to make confident, informed decisions about money and investing. Everyone will be able to find knowledge, tools and insights to help them achieve their financial goals.
The current financial system is opaque, complex, and designed to enrich and reward those on the inside. Average investors are so in the dark when it comes to the system that most don’t know just how much they don’t know.
For example: how is your financial advisor compensated? Do they have a legal duty to put your interests first, or are they primarily paid to distribute products? If you’re like most people, you don’t know.

What can you do today for your retirement?

Saving for our children's university and retirement is one of life’s biggest savings, but surveys show these investments too often come last.
What could you do if you can see yourself in one or both of these situations?
 Something. 
Start by trying to save just 2% of what you’re bringing in; put the contributions on systematic automatic contributions to be sure they make it into the designated pot. 
Here’s the deal. Someone is reading this and thinking, `What the heck. It’s too late for me.’ But you don’t have to make these changes all at once. Look at your long-term plan and trim away that extra tank of gas or movie night out to start supporting all that you want down in ten or fifteen years.

Just take the time and get your financial goals written

"If your financial plan is not written & measurable...it's just hope!"

Wealth managers versus brokers

Typically, wealth managers, also known as financial planners, earn their living either from commissions or by charging hourly or flat rates for their services. A commission is a fee paid whenever someone buys or sells a stock or other investment. You may want to avoid financial planners who rely on commissions for their income. These advisers may not be the most unbiased source of advice if they profit from steering you into particular products.
A growing number of financial planners make money only when you pay them a fee for their counsel. These financial planners don’t get a cut from life insurers or fund companies. You might pay them a flat fee, such as $1,500, for a financial plan. Or you could pay an annual fee, often 1% to 2% of all the assets—investment, retirement,  university savings and other accounts—they’re minding for you. Others charge by the hour, like lawyers.
You might also encounter financial planners who cater exclusively to the rich and refuse clients with less than $2 million to invest. Don’t take it personally—hugely successful planners in this range of wealth are called wealth managers and would just prefer to deal with big accounts rather than beginner clients. 
You want a planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
If you have more than $2 Million to invest, look for the wealth managers usually found in the global banks.

How do you select a financial planner when you sell your business?

When you sell your company and all of a sudden, you have millions to invest, it can make you quite giddy. All of a sudden, your long last relatives will appear on your doorstep asking for a loan or an investment. Your niece will want you invest in her new app which is "brilliant".  Suddenly, you can access wealth manages who need you to have more than $2million to open an account. These wealth managers are the elite of financial planners.
Financial planners advise clients on how best to save, invest, and grow their money. They can help you tackle a specific financial goal—such as giving you a macro view of your money and the interplay of your various assets. Some specialize in retirement or estate planning, while some others consult on a range of financial matters. At the very least, they should find out about your family.
Don’t confuse planners with stockbrokers — the market mavens people call to trade stocks. 
Financial planners also differ from accountants who can help you lower your tax bill, insurance agents who might lure you in with complicated life insurance policies, or the person at your local bank urging you to buy their off the shelf mutual funds.

Anyone can hang out a shingle as a financial planner, but that doesn’t make that person an expert. They may tack on an alphabet soup of letters after their names, but CFA (short for certified financial planner) is the most significant credential. A CFA has passed a rigorous test on the specifics of personal finance. CFAs must also commit to continuing education on financial matters and ethics classes to maintain their designation. The CFP credential is a good sign that a prospective planner will give sound financial advice. Still, even those who pass the exam may come up short on skills and credibility. As with all things pertaining to your money, be meticulous in choosing the right planner.
Their firm is important. Some small planner make you pay dearly. They are smart but you end up paying more as they still have to place orders for your portfolio and they will have to pay a fee and pass that along to you.