Financial Planning
June 25, 2024

The Wealth Management Process Broken Down Simply

Stewart Willis

Understanding the wealth management process can make a difference in achieving your financial goals. Wealth management is about creating a plan to grow and protect your assets. This blog will break down the entire wealth planning process into clear, manageable steps.

Whether you're new to investing or looking to refine your current financial plan, this guide will help. You should be able to grasp what it takes to manage your wealth effectively, ensuring that your financial future is as secure and prosperous as possible.

6 Wealth Management Process Steps

Each firm would have its own process for wealth management. However, these are the different wealth management process steps you should encounter:

1. Determining Your Financial Goals

The wealth management process starts with a simple first step: meeting your wealth manager. In this initial consultation, the focus is on you. Your wealth manager will want to discuss your needs and what you expect to achieve with your investments.

To prepare for this part of the process, it’s ideal to sit down and think about your financial dreams and goals. If you are in a relationship or married, keep communication open and clear about what you both want.

This meeting is your opportunity to share your vision for the future. This could include:

  • buying a home
  • saving for your child’s education
  • planning a comfortable retirement
  • creating a succession plan for your business
  • contributing to causes you believe in

Your wealth manager will ask detailed questions to understand these goals and get a clear picture of what success looks like to you. This conversation sets the stage for crafting a financial plan that aligns perfectly with your ambitions.

Use this opportunity to your advantage and engage with wealth managers about their process. Do not hesitate to ask probing questions and demand transparency. Wealth managers should be transparent about their fee structure, clearly articulating all associated costs.

Additionally, it is crucial to ascertain their status as a fiduciary, as this legally obligates them to act in your best financial interests. Approach these discussions with a confident, no-nonsense attitude to ensure you receive the information necessary to decide to entrust your assets to their management.

2. Gathering Information about Your Financial Situation

Next, your wealth manager will gather important financial information from you. This includes:

  • your income
  • assets
  • debts
  • wills and trusts
  • insurance contracts
  • investments
  • regular expenses

A thorough assessment of your present assets, liabilities, income, and expenses provides the necessary foundation for developing an effective investment strategy.

3. Assessing Your Portfolio

Once you've handed over all your information, they'll assess your current strategy with a critical eye. Wealth managers will start by identifying what's working and what needs overhauling. Financial advisors will also carefully evaluate your risk tolerance—your willingness and ability to withstand market volatility and potential losses.

They will also assess investment timeframes or the duration for which you plan to hold your investments. These factors directly inform the recommended asset allocation and investment approach for your unique financial goals and circumstances.

4. Implementation of the Wealth Management Plan

At this phase in the wealth management process, your financial advisor will hold a meeting with you to discuss recommendations. They discuss the effectiveness of your current wealth planning process and any changes they would make. You should have the option to decline recommendations at any stage in the process of wealth management. You shouldn’t feel pressured or forced to make investments you are not comfortable with.

Once you agree on a strategy, the next step is to implement that plan. Your wealth manager will handle the setup and management of your investments. This could include:

  • buying stocks and bonds
  • purchasing an annuity
  • establishing an estate plan with trusts and wills
  • creating retirement accounts (e.g. Roth IRAs)
  • seeking alternative investments
  • creating a tax plan

The wealth management investment process should be open, and you should be able to ask questions freely before choosing a path.

wealth management text on business concept background

5. Ongoing Communication and Monitoring

Open and transparent communication is an important aspect of the wealth management process. You are entrusting your hard-earned money to a wealth management professional. There be ongoing, candid dialogue between you and your advisor.

This collaborative relationship built on clear communication allows you to have:

  • full visibility into the status of your portfolio
  • understand the rationale behind investment decisions
  • ensure they prioritize your long-term financial goals

Without this continuous exchange of information and perspectives, the wealth management experience becomes opaque. This will undermine the trust and confidence that are central to such an important financial partnership.

Managing your wealth is also an ongoing process. Your wealth manager will regularly check how your investments are performing. They watch the markets and adjust your portfolio if needed, ensuring your investments are always working hard for you. If there aren’t favorable returns, you can change direction and implement strategies to mitigate losses.

6. Make Adjustments When Necessary

Nothing in life is permanent—the only constant is change. It would be unwise to set a wealth management strategy in place and forget about it. Major changes in your life’s path will impact your financial priorities this could be:

  • having children/grandchildren
  • divorce
  • getting married
  • buying a house
  • starting/acquiring a business
  • unemployment/starting a new career
  • death of a spouse
  • inflation

These big moments often mean adjusting your investments. Your plan is never set in stone, and this phase of the wealth management process is arguably the most important. It keeps your plans on track and changes based on your needs. A holistic approach should always give you the freedom to be flexible, as life can seem like a rollercoaster.

Kickstart the Wealth Management Process

Asset Preservation Wealth and Tax is a fiduciary firm that unwaveringly prioritizes your best interests. Functioning without any conflicts of interest, we maintain open and transparent communication and adopt a comprehensive, holistic approach to wealth management.

Our streamlined wealth management process is tailored to your unique circumstances, so we deliver personalized solutions to meet your specific financial goals and needs.

Talk to a trusted financial planner today!

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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