Individuals spend more time thinking about and researching restaurants on any given night than they do when the topic turns to financial advice. Perhaps I exaggerate, but I see a few heads nodding in agreement. First, it is more fun to decide between your favorite Thai restaurant or that new Italian spot in the trendy neighborhood. Second, the decision-making process on financial advice has many different levels and gets complicated in a hurry.
There is no shortage of wealth management firms willing to oversee your assets and investments. Large, well-known companies often come to mind, but smaller, boutique firms offer unique solutions that investors may find attractive.
The mind is overwhelmed by all the questions and potential solutions that come from researching financial opportunities:
- Should I manage my own investments or work with an advisor?
- If “advisor” is the answer above, should I focus on large bank advisors, boutique advisors, or robo-advisors?
- Commissions or fees?
And the list goes on.
Spoiler alert: the answer is Boutique Advisor. I mean, my answer is Boutique Advisor, and here’s why:
The Value of Boutique Wealth Management Firms
A recent article in Barron’s encapsulates my reasoning perfectly. The title of the article on March 17, 2022, was The Interdependent RIA: The Next Stage of Advisory Evolution, by Michael J. Nathanson (the Colony Group). I love the term “Interdependent” rather than the traditional term “Independent” when talking about registered investment advisors. It is very reflective of how our team at Private Wealth built and launched our company in late 2021.
Two quotes from Mr. Nathanson:
“Interdependent firms do not see their peers myopically as competitors but rather as potential allies. They join study groups, attend industry conferences, and proactively seek out reciprocal relationships.”
“Interdependent firms understand that they rely on their clients just as much as their clients rely on them. They are willing and eager to adapt and innovate to serve their clients’ changing needs and will humbly take great measures to satisfy and retain those clients.”
“Interdependent” firms are increasing in popularity among investors. They’ve discovered that small firms have access to many of the same resources as larger companies but offer more customized solutions to wealth management. Investors researching smaller firms want a multifamily office dedicated to delivering expert counsel to clients, getting the results they deserve and desire.
Need convincing beyond customized solutions and expert counsel delivering results? Here are a few things to look at when researching small independent firms.
The Clients Come First
Trust is everything in wealth management. Many larger management firms focus on in-house products and services to offer the client. While it may help grow a client’s wealth, a client could potentially lose out on a more lucrative option. You need an investment advisor who is willing to try new solutions and adapt to your unique situation – and that’s what you get with boutique wealth management.
If our clients need help with any part of their financial world, it is our job to find the best solution for them, from any provider. Interdependent firms do not have a parent company that limits partnership with peers and vendors, controls staffing, takes too long to make decisions, or has proprietary products with sales goals.
Interdependent firms are not publicly traded, which removes the constant expectation of current and future profitability for shareholders of the firm (not clients). The advisors in today’s Registered Interdependent Advisory firms are the owners of the company – owners who partner with clients.
At Private Wealth, we utilize a client-centric model that prioritizes you above all else. Clients always have access to their team of professionals, creating an environment with clear expectations and priorities.
Search for Experience with Complex Assets
Investors want to know they have an advisor who understands the complexity of their assets. Previously, most of that knowledge was only found at larger wealth management companies. Now, smaller boutique wealth management firms have access to technology and resources to give their clients exactly the products and services they need.
Private Wealth offers more than 400 years of combined experience in wealth management strategies. Our unique solutions are backed by years of industry knowledge. Take a look at some of the service lines we offer our clients:
Boutique Wealth Management Can Coordinate All Wealth Strategies
Like many other “Interdependent” RIA firms, Private Wealth has established great reciprocal relationships with many different providers, peers, and vendors for the benefit of our clients. Private Wealth is very good at many things (did I mention our team has more than 400 years of combined financial advisory experience?) but we rely on industry experts to help our clients in other financial areas such as banking, investment research, trading, custody, compliance, bill pay, property-casualty insurance, life insurance, cybersecurity, and economic forecasting.**
There is one thing we are experts at: taking care of our clients. We listen to them, understand them, educate them when needed, provide emotional support when needed, and we bring together all the resources from our “Interdependent” platform to aid our clients.
This is a great benefit for clients who would otherwise jump from advisor to advisor trying to understand the market, their assets, and potential opportunities. Like many boutique wealth firms, we have connections in various industries to give our clients the sound information and solutions to fit their needs. We work with your team to quarterback everything from a single point of contact.
In the end, the goal is to find a trusted investment advisor who understands the complexity of your diverse portfolio and makes your investments a top priority. Partnering with the right boutique advisor through a deliberate process is more purposeful than the randomness of discovering a hidden gem on Yelp.
If you’re ready to learn more about the unique opportunities Private Wealth can offer, reach out to a wealth management advisor here.
*The foregoing message contains the opinions of Brett Halley, a member of Private Wealth Asset Management’s advisory team.
**Private Wealth does not directly provide the listed services, but helps clients identify outside third-party providers suited to a client’s needs. Private Wealth does not receive compensation for referrals to third-party service providers and such services are hired at the client’s expense separate from fees paid to Private Wealth. Other providers of the same services may be available to clients at lesser cost.