Wealth Management & Financial Planning FAQs

Such is the broad range of services available in the wealth management sector that wealth management can mean different things to different people. We have put together some of the more frequently asked questions regarding wealth management to help allay any misunderstandings and confusion regarding minimum application requirements.
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Wealth management services can take in everything from international investments to bespoke tax planning, real estate to foreign exchange, education fee planning and more. Wealth managers take a holistic approach to financial advice, also considering life goals and objectives as well as financial targets.
While wealth management and financial planning are woven from the same cloth, wealth management is more focused on preserving existing wealth and looking towards long-term growth. Financial planning covers more immediate financial issues including income, expenses and investments, while at the same time looking to the future.
Some of the typical services offered by wealth managers include investment management and advice, tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning with focus on achieving long-term life and financial goals.
Wealth management services tend to attract long term investors and are particularly popular with expats. Living and investing in a foreign land can create an array of challenges with wealth managers able to offer expert guidance on financial and practical matters.
At the outset it is important to review not only your income and assets, but also your goals and objectives in the long term. Retirement planning, tax planning and any insurance requirements will be structured around your income and any additional funds. Know Your Client (KYC) is a crucial element of wealth management/financial planning.
It is vital that clients have significant input from day one when considering a financial plan for the future. As a result, you would work closely with your wealth manager/financial planner, putting together an arrangement with which you are comfortable. It is important to remember that no plans are written in stone and can be amended and adjusted further down the line.
At a minimum, you should have an annual meeting with your wealth manager to discuss not only the performance of your investments but also your wider financial situation. However, if your situation changes or perhaps you are considering different options, your wealth manager should be available to discuss these as and when required.
Depending on the type of services provided, wealth managers may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee while others work on a commission basis. Where a broad range of services is offered, it may be a mixed charging structure. All fees and services are transparent and will be discussed in your initial communications with a wealth manager.
An advisory wealth manager will do just that, advise you about the actions they believe are in your best interests. A discretionary wealth manager will have the freedom to take decisions on your behalf to preserve and build your long-term wealth. While there is more of a self-management angle with the advisory service, you can change your investment goals at any time and take back control of a discretionary agreement.
There is no hard and fast figure when it comes to a minimum amount of assets with varied requirements. You will find that different wealth managers will focus on particular sectors with the expat market showing significant growth over recent years.
As part of the remit of a wealth manager is to preserve your wealth, while looking to enhance on a long-term basis, risk is an important factor. Asset allocation and portfolio diversification are crucial with additional factors such as tax advice and insurance used to reduce risk and protect assets. Your attitude to risk, and feedback from the wealth manager would be discussed at length before proceeding with any arrangement.
It would be reckless for any wealth manager to guarantee investment returns because any return requires a degree of risk. That said, there are ways and means of preserving and protecting wealth going forward, with insurance policies and diversification of investments a useful means of reducing risk.
Generally, you would have a formal meeting once a year with your wealth manager to discuss recent performance, goals for the future and the roadmap ahead. However, a good wealth manager will keep you up-to-date and be available for advice to address any fears/questions you have throughout the year. Flexibility is the key when looking at a successful wealth management service.
While wealth managers will have experience across-the-board from investment to estate planning, and much more, they will also call upon trusted professional parties as and when required. The ability to reach out for specialist advice is a crucial part of any wealth management arrangement.
There are many ways in which wealth managers can help with your retirement planning. This could take in everything from pension fund investments to contributions, maximising tax relief to aligning investments and income with your retirement date. Many investors will also look to reduce their risk profile as they move closer to their retirement date, preserving wealth and looking to maximise their income in retirement.

If you have any further questions about investments or the expat lifestyle in Taiwan, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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