There is a general misconception that wealth management is the domain of the rich and famous. Considering that the average home in the UK is valued at circa £290,000, and the IHT threshold is £325,000, this puts it into perspective. Those who fail even to consider wealth management services may find themselves with a tax bill that could have been avoidable by planning. Consequently, it is important to consider the topic of wealth management as you get older.


What services fall under the wealth management umbrella?


There are many issues to consider regarding wealth management in the short, medium and longer term. These include:-


Investment management


Long-term management of investments, taking in shares, property and other assets, is the most recognised service associated with wealth management. However, even though the Internet has brought research and news to our fingertips, many people don't have time to micromanage their investments. Consequently, typical wealth managementcompanies will have a significant number of discretionary clients.


Comprehensive financial planning


The long-term aim of wealth management is to maximise gains and protect assets while minimising your tax liability going forward. Therefore, comprehensive financial planning can include everything from trusts to insurance policies, pensions to tax-efficient investment vehicles and more. Some of the actions taken today may not come to full fruition until many years later. However, this is the value of forward planning.


Estate planning


Nobody ever wants to discuss death, inheritance tax and your will. Unfortunately, the longer this subject is avoided, the less potential to mitigate any long-term tax liabilities and maximise gains. There are many simple ways to structure your estate; some are relatively straightforward, while others are a bit more complex. While many people only consider estate planning in their later years, this can prove costly with little room for manoeuvre due to shortened timescales.


Legal services


Financial rules and regulations can change on a regular basis and those associated with tax planning tend to be relatively high on government agendas. With HMRC unwilling to offer advice and guidance on theoretical scenarios, and only willing to make a ruling after the event, this can cause financialheadaches. Consequently, it is vital you take the appropriatelegal advice to ensure that all actions are above board and watertight.


Retirement planning


Many people automatically assume that retirement planning is something to consider when you pass retirement age. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth!


The investment strategy you work upon in your 20s is very different to that in your 50s as you approach retirement age. Depending on individual circumstances, many people tend to slowly switch from growth-related investments to "more secure" income-producing assets. This ensures that there is a regular source of income in retirement, although it is still possible to maintain exposure to an element of long-term growth assets. The crux of the matter is that you should be planning for your retirement well in advance!


All-encompassing advice


While these are the main elements of wealth management services, it is essential that all assets and sources of income are considered together. It is only then that your wealth management provider can give comprehensive advice. This brings us to the subject of trust, the backbone and foundation of good wealth management services.




When you consider that the average house in the UK is valued just under the inheritance tax threshold, wealth managementservices are not necessarily the domain of the ultra-rich and famous. The earlier you take advice, the more options available and the greater potential to maximise profits, protect assets and minimise tax liabilities, all within current financial regulations.

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