The opportunity is huge. The U.S. is already home to more ultra-high-net-worth individuals (those with > $30 million in investable assets) than any other country. Approximately 24 percent more individuals are expected to join their ranks by 2025.1 These clients have unique needs and typically build their wealth from owning businesses, managing investment portfolios, and investing in property. Likewise, the financial advisors who serve them must have expertise in a variety of areas and access to best-in-class solutions to facilitate holistic financial wellness. If you are looking to expand your business and serve ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients, you need to address their most pressing financial concerns, while also examining both the overall plan and its individual components. Not surprisingly, technology plays a key role.
Key concerns of UHNW clients
When we speak to UHNW clients about what keeps them up at night, they are often thinking about future generations. Common concerns include:
- What is the best way for me to pass on my legacy when I die?
- How do expected changes to estate tax law affect my family?
- What is the best way to manage my charitable giving?
These are complicated questions with lots of nuance. The client might be concerned about how to be fair to all their heirs. Or about how to manage the transition of wealth beyond their children, to their grandchildren. Or how their charitable giving today might affect their bottom line 20 years from now.
As an advisor, technology is your best friend here. Today’s dynamic collaboration tools enable you to not just look at your client’s current cash flow or future estate plan, but also toggle between the two in real time. Using a tool like Legacy Studio in MoneyGuide’s Wealth Studios, you’ll be able to show clients how trusts might help their situation, clicking through various options as you discuss them. Once you have a favorite approach, you can toggle back to look at how the client’s current cashflow could impact their legacy. And finally, while still in the same meeting, you can stress test that plan to see how it might handle a possible recession, the need for long term care, or an earlier retirement date.
So, when your clients ask the questions above, you could answer, “Let’s talk about your concerns and look at some options…” and you’ll be equipped to demonstrate your expertise in real time, in that meeting.
Understanding the forest and the trees
Because UHNW clients have so many income streams, a clear understanding of the big picture is a requirement. Everyone involved needs to know what the bottom line is now and into the future. That said, your more analytical clients may want to focus in on specific details. What if you wanted to tweak investments to provide for retirement spending? How would dividends play into that? What if you changed your investment allocation overtime, could you maintain your desired spending? Even in a room full of people, technology can enable advisors to dig into those details in real time, using graphics and visual representations to make the information easier to understand and discuss. Did you know that the brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds?2 For the more detail-oriented clients, holding level investment detail is available.
If you notice a theme here, it is that advisors can better meet the needs of UHNW clients with open dialog in real time. An advisor driven collaborative tool, supports better conversation, deeper understanding, and stronger advisor/client relationships. If you’d like to test how this technology could support your practice, visit our Wealth Studios page to learn more and to sign up for a demo.
- Knight Frank. “The Wealth Report 2021,” Page 83, Accessed July 23, 2021, https://content.knightfrank.com/research/83/documents/en/the-wealth-report-2021-7865.pdf
- Anne Trafton, “In the blink of an eye,” MIT News, January 15, 2014, https://news.mit.edu/2014/in-the-blink-of-an-eye-0116
The information, analysis and opinions expressed herein are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Envestnet. These views reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing contained in this piece is intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type.
IMPORTANT: The projections or other information generated by MoneyGuide’s Wealth Studios tools regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not a guarantee of future results. Actual results may vary with each use and over time.
Tony Leal, President, Envestnet | MoneyGuide
Tony has been at Envestnet MoneyGuide since its inception in 1997. As president, Tony is focused on overall growth strategy, execution, and operations. He also has technical and management responsibility for the development of the MoneyGuidePro® systems, enterprise customer satisfaction, and is the system architect for all integrations and customized versions of our products. Tony has over 25 years’ experience designing and implementing computer systems for client companies, and over 15 years’ experience in designing, developing, and supporting software systems in the financial services industry.