Despite its name, wealth management is not just for the super wealthy. Nor is it a discipline which must necessarily be attended to by only those with existing savings to spare. Instead, wealth management is a multi-disciplinary advisory process relating to many different financial service branches, which is accessible by anyone with income enough to consider the merits of investing in their financial future.
Mixed Year for Wealth Management
As reported by Forbes, last year was a mixed year for wealth management. The good news was that managed assets typically increased 12% and average US household revenue increased 11%. These increases were mirrored in the UK, indicating that the various measures taken by both the BoE and the EU have succeeded – at least in part – in bolstering the economy. Nevertheless, regulations governing the structure of the wealth management industry are predicted to force a substantial overhaul in the way that this service is delivered, for the betterment of wealth management clients in the UK and abroad.
Nevertheless, the wealth management industry has itself suffered a downturn, with the number of regulated advisers falling and a shift in favour of outsourcing. As a result, an ‘advice gap’ has been created which has, at times, threatened to undermine the stability of many wealth management firms. It is this gap that UK advisors will, in months and years to come, be looking to fill.
Filling the Advice Gap
Wealth management is necessarily consumer driven, and one of the primary services which firms provide for their customers is knowledge. Knowledge will, therefore, play a major role in closing the advice gap between consumer need and industry service. Some wealth management firms already offer financial advice and industry specific news; these services will need to become standardised, incorporating a greater degree of transparency and simplicity for the benefit of consumers. Knowledge provision has become increasingly important in light of the tighter regulations imposed on the wealth management sector – in the future, education will be as important as adept investments or savvy financial planning.
Geographically, wealth management has typically congregated in London. This trend has been exacerbated by the resilience of the London property market, the upper echelons of which managed to weather the storm of the global recession. Future trends may well see the industry once again expand beyond the capital, to take advantage of new shifts in property buying and selling, as well as the founding of new industry. Smaller management firms will do well in this climate, and wealth management services may themselves become more affordable.
Wealth Management Options for You
If you’re interested in accessing wealth management, the time is certainly ripe to explore the variety of services on offer. After a tumultuous 2013, the sector is poised for growth which should entail the creation of additional financial advice options for high and modest-wealth clients alike. Crucially, those without the knowledge necessary to take full advantage of all that wealth management has to offer should find their advice needs met by an industry that is only too happy to oblige.