Financial Planning
October 12, 2023

Ultra High Net Worth Wealth Management: A Quick Starter Guide

Stewart Willis

As an ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI), you need to have a sound team around you to help you manage a diverse investment portfolio. At this level, ultra-high net worth wealth management should give you a personalized service that meets your values and needs. This is a starter guide to ultra-high-net-worth wealth management.

What is an Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individual?

Generally speaking, a UHNWI has a net worth of $30 million or more. This means they have the financial capacity to fund multiple generations. With at least a net worth of $30 million or more, your financial needs are complex and significant.

Factors to Consider when Selecting an Ultra-High-Net-Worth Wealth Management Firm

As a result, you need to seek the best wealth management firms for ultra-high-net-worth wealth management. Here are the key considerations and aspects you need to know about ultra-high-net-worth wealth management:

Holistic Approach

Comprehensive wealth management for ultra-high-net-worth individuals is a multifaceted approach that leaves no stone unturned. It encompasses far more than just investment management. It encompasses philanthropic strategies, estate planning, and even lifestyle services. 

Every aspect of an ultra-high-net-worth individual's financial life is meticulously addressed and optimized for maximum benefit and peace of mind, from purchasing luxury assets to managing personal security concerns. An ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firm will have access to tax professionals, accountants, lawyers, and wealth managers to get you the best financial care.

Complex Investment Opportunities

Ultra-high-net-worth individual wealth management gives the ultra-wealthy a distinct advantage regarding investment opportunities. Your financial status grants you access to more exclusive avenues beyond the reach of ordinary investors. This means that you need fiduciaries working with you to make investment strategies that aren't a conflict of interest. 

Private equity deals, direct investments, hedge funds, and other alternative investments become readily available to UHNWIs because they meet certain required income and net worth thresholds. This can result in further portfolio diversification and potentially higher investment returns.

Global Perspectives and Expertise

UHNWIs should demand more than local ultra-high-net-worth wealth management expertise in today's interconnected world. With assets, interests, and connections spanning across multiple countries, they require wealth managers who possess a global perspective. 

These professionals must understand international markets and navigate complex taxation laws and geopolitical risks. A truly comprehensive approach is crucial in effectively managing the diverse and intricate financial portfolios of UHNWIs.

Bespoke Services

Standard wealth management services may need to catch up when meeting the unique needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs). Dedicated services with a smaller ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firm will give you more direct services than a more prominent firm that handles many clients. 

From custom credit solutions to specialized investment strategies, UHNWIs should expect nothing less than the utmost attention and expertise from their wealth managers. Also, having too many hands on your portfolio can lead to disjointed financial strategies. Dedicated services with a single point of contact make it easier for you to get answers, be heard, and stay involved in your financial well-being.

Tax & Estate Planning

The need for sophisticated tax optimization and estate planning strategies is undeniable in the realm of high-net-worth individuals. With their vast assets and substantial wealth, UHNWIs must navigate complex financial landscapes to seamlessly transfer their prosperity to future generations and support charitable causes effectively. 

Working with ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firms will allow you to employ strategic planning techniques that maximize tax efficiency while preserving a financial legacy for years.


Confidentiality is not just a preference but an absolute necessity for wealth management for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Recognizing the unique needs of these clients, ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firms must prioritize privacy and discretion in all aspects of their dealings. Maintaining the highest level of confidentiality builds trust and ensures the well-being of their esteemed clientele.

Hand stacking coins in a patterns

Family Offices

Are you looking for more than an ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firm? Family offices have become an invaluable resource for UHNWIs. These bespoke institutions, whether single-family or multi-family offices offer a wide range of specialized financial and non-financial services. 

From managing day-to-day financial operations to providing expert guidance on financial planning and legacy concerns, family offices cater specifically to the unique needs of UHNW families. Their tailored approach ensures wealth management is handled with utmost precision and attention to detail.

Legacy and Philanthropy

You might strive to make a lasting impact on society. To achieve this, an ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firm should proactively collaborate with experts in various fields to design philanthropic strategies that create long-lasting and meaningful societal benefits. This approach ensures your wealth is utilized effectively and imprints the world while giving you the most tax benefits.

At What Net Worth Do I Need a Wealth Manager?

When working with a wealth manager, the notion of a specific net worth requirement is simply not accurate. The net worth needed to engage the services of a wealth manager varies depending on the firm you choose. However, according to Bankrate, having a net worth ranging from $2 million to $5 million is generally considered a good starting point for high-net-worth individuals seeking professional financial guidance.

Where Do Most Millionaires Invest?

Most millionaires diversify their investments to reduce risk. Their investment portfolios can include:

  • commercial or residential real estate
  • stocks, bonds, or other assets
  • private equity in non-publicly traded companies
  • venture capital
  • commodities such as gold, silver, oil, and agricultural products
  • hedge funds
  • collectibles that appreciate such as art, antiques, rare wines, luxury items

Work with a Team that Supports You

Ensure you fully understand the fee structure, potential conflicts of interest, and how the compensation works. No trustworthy firm wouldn’t be upfront about how they operate. A robust personal rapport and trust with your wealth manager is important. Before moving forward, ensure you are entirely comfortable with their values and approach. 

Having complete transparency in these areas is important when working with ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firms. Asset Preservation Wealth and Tax is a fiduciary, meaning we are legally obligated to work in our client’s best interests. We take a step back to give clients a big picture approach to their investment portfolios. In our years of experience, we know that client goals and objectives matter, so your input is always valid. 

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Stewart Willis is the founder and president of Asset Preservation Wealth & Tax, a financial planning firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Investment advisory services offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

The commentary on this blog reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the author, Stewart Willis, providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC (“Foundations”), an SEC registered investment adviser or performance returns of any Foundations client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment, legal or tax advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Personal investment advice can only be rendered after the engagement of Foundations for services, execution of required documentation, including receipt of required disclosures. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Foundations manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Any statistical data or information obtained from or prepared by third party sources that Foundations deems reliable but in no way does Foundations guarantee the accuracy or completeness. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Any past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Foundations and its advisors are properly licensed or exempted. For more information, please go to and search by our firm name or by our CRD # 175083.

Alternative/Private investments are often complex,  speculative and illiquid investment vehicles that are not suitable for all investors and are typically only available to accredited investors who meet certain minimum financial requirements.  Alternative Investments often engage in leverage and other investment practices that are extremely speculative and involve a high degree of risk. Such practices may increase the volatility of performance and the risk of investment loss, including the loss of the entire amount that is invested.  They are, therefore, intended for experienced and sophisticated long-term investors  who also have the financial wherewithal to accept such risks.

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