June 20, 2022

Do You Need a Global Wealth Manager


Do you have money invested all over the world? Do you have a portfolio that is spread out over many different countries and continents? If so, you may want to consider working with a global wealth manager. A global wealth manager can help you manage your money and investments in a way that makes sense for your specific needs. They can help you navigate the complex financial landscape and make smart investment choices. There are certain thresholds after which employing a wealth manager makes sense, alongside the personal and risk management requirements: it all comes down to how capable you as an individual are and how comfortable you feel managing your own money.

What is a global wealth manager and what do they do

A global wealth manager is a professional who helps manage your money and investments. They work with you to create a financial plan that meets your specific goals and needs. The first step of this is working out your risk profile: taking into account your age, liquidity and cash requirements, financial goals and income and then figuring out what level of risk you can comfortably sustain. For example, someone who is still 30 years from retirement can afford to bear much more short term volatility, given that they will not need to draw down on their investment for some time. Someone who is on the cusp of retirement needs to be more careful, given that they will likely need to sell investments in the near future, and thus would not be able to sustain short term losses.

Wealth managers are often employed by high net worth individuals and families. The generally accepted minimum threshold is £/$1m net investable assets, although intermediary tiers exist for those with £/$100k and upwards. They may also work with businesses and organisations who have specific portfolio requirements.

When do you need a global wealth manager

One of the largest criticisms levied against the wealth management industry as a whole is to do with performance. Why would you pay someone annual fees to manage an investment portfolio that often returns similar or less than the market benchmark? This is actually a specific criticism against one part of the industry - the proprietary fund management done in house by the wealth managers' investment team. It is a valid one, and one that reflects a broader argument against active fund management vs passive.

However, this ignores a crucial point, and that is that one of the largest benefits of having a wealth manager is help with asset allocation. Knowing what proportion of your wealth to assign to different asset classes in which proportions. How much to put into stocks, real estate, bonds, alternatives etc. How to structure a portfolio tax-efficiently and how to make the most of the various allowances. When to realise capital gains and how to structure these in a way that minimises your tax liability without affecting performance. These are all things that are possible but difficult to figure out on your own, especially for those who don't have a finance background. It's also very much about the reassurance of knowing these decisions have been made from a position of experience, and there's something to be said for a counterparty that takes on this responsibility.

How do you find a global wealth manager

However difficult you might find it to manage wealth across asset classes domestically, you can guarantee that it's more difficult across countries. Aside from the currency risk you're now exposed to, managing wealth across countries also involves FX transfers, a much larger number of accounts and difficulties with taxes and restrictions.

This actually vastly increases the need for external help, changing the answer to the question Do You Need a Global Wealth Manager. It is also worth noting that wealth managers aren't allowed to give tax advice and accountants aren't allowed to give investment advice. So you could find yourself needing both.

A great place to start is the premier private banking institution in your domestic country or the one you spend most time in. If there are banks that straddle the exact countries you live or operate in, you're in luck. The actual advice you will receive won't differentiate massively between institutions beyond a ceiling of quality, so you're better off making a final decision based on experience operating in the required jurisdictions.

What to look for when choosing a global wealth manager

As previously mentioned, once you've decided the answer to the question do you need a global wealth manager, you are then making a choice on one based on various factors. Reputations go a long way in this industry which is why the top players have been around so long, but they are also lacking in digitisation. Fees and lockup periods or other onerous small print are also things to look out for.

Using Strabo to manage your wealth

Now, you might have looked into the process and decided that actually do you need a global wealth manager? Probably not. However, with or without one you'll want to track your investments across the countries in which you live and work. While the goal of the platform is not to provide financial advice, having a clearer picture allows you to be able to collect the information to make important decisions with ease. Track asset values, portfolio allocation and performance and set custom goals that you can forecast performance towards in seconds. Sign up today!

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