Should You Position Your Wealth Management Firm Like a Family Office?

How to shift from wealth management to comprehensive wealth advice like a family office?

What is the difference between wealth management and a family office? When we think of wealth management we think of someone who is taking care of our wealth, managing our money, and doing a little bit of goal planning and financial planning. When we think of a family office it's only reserved for the wealthy. Why is that? Is it because they do a better job of wealth management? Or is it because they do a better job of planning and advice?

Are you running a mini-family office?

Wealthy people who have a high net worth of two to $20 million usually have two or more financial advisors. This is because they need one to manage their wealth and another financial advisor to do comprehensive planning in all seven areas of their financial life. This includes taxes state investment risk insurance debt and cash flow. This level of planning takes time knowledge and expertise. This type of planning needs major coordination with other professionals. This coordination may include accountants attorneys mortgage brokers real estate including commercial real estate commercial lenders general insurance including commercial lines and more. That sounds like a lot of coordination. Is it worth the time and effort for financial advisors?

What do your best clients pay you every year?

Write down on paper what your best families pay you each year. Let's use an example. A financial advisor manages $2.5 million for a client and another $1,000,000 for other family members. The total family assets are $3.5 million and the gross revenue at 1% is $35,000 per year. This client is paying almost $3000 per month for what? Is it just for wealth management and a bit of advice? Or is it for comprehensive wealth advice and coordination? After all most wealthy clients don't know the difference until they met you. You deliver comprehensive wealth advice in all seven areas and you coordinate it with your professional network for your ideal families. This is the start of a definition of a mini-family office.

How do you market yourself?

Ask family offices you know, what are the criteria to become a family office? They position themselves differently. They focus on comprehensive wealth advice, not just wealth management. Start researching family office websites and family office organizations and you will start to see the difference. The financial industry has been focused on planning and wealth management. but the financial industry gets paid usually for wealth management or products, not advice. This is something you and I can have a conversation about changing because the future is about advice. We have heard over and over that wealth management is a commodity. If we change our behavior and our language each advisor has the ability to shift the financial services industry towards advice. Now go and deliver comprehensive wealth advice to your ideal families.

Related: Financial Advisors Who Segment Their Clients Earn More