As an investor, you may have a lot of questions about the best wealth management strategies available to you. But how do you choose the best way to build wealth? What is the best way to come up with an individualized plan? It may seem incredibly complicated to build your net worth and at the same time, evaluate your risk tolerance and more.
In this article, we’ll go over several elements of a good wealth management strategy and help you put together the best financial plan for your future. This information is for informational and educational purposes only and is not meant to be investment advice.
What Are the Elements of Good Wealth Management Strategies?
There’s no one way to put together a wealth management strategy, but there are elements of all great wealth management plans.
The elements of a good wealth management strategy include setting financial goals, budgeting, building an emergency fund, investing, diversifying your investments, debt management, insurance and estate planning. Let’s go over each element and describe how you can implement each strategy yourself.
Setting Financial Goals
Good financial planning cannot happen without setting financial goals. If you don’t set measurable goals, it’s difficult to make sure you get the results you’re expecting. For example, if you want to have $1 million upon retirement, it’s best to have that goal in mind so that you can work backward to figure out how you’ll achieve it.
Write down your goals — everything you want to accomplish. For example, if you want to save $1million for retirement, save for your child’s college education and save for a European trip in five years, write them all down! Make sure your goals are extremely specific and measurable. For example, your list may look like this:
- Retirement in 2042: $1 million
- College in 2031: $200,000
- European trip 2027: $10,000
Add as many details to this plan as possible and give yourself a deadline to meet these goals. The more specific you can be, the more concrete you can make them, the better. It’s more likely that you’ll meet your goals.
It’s worth noting that investment professionals can help you identify your goals based on your investment horizon and risk tolerance. Trying to navigate investment management can seem really difficult on your own. In order to choose the right advisory services, make sure you interview several registered investment advisors who are either registered with the SEC, or member FINRA broker/dealers.
Make sure they’ll take care of all of your financial future needs and also make sure that the person you want to hire is a fiduciary. A fiduciary has your best interests at heart. You can use FINRA’s BrokerCheck to find out whether a particular investment advisory service meets particular benchmarks, including whether a person or firm is registered, as required by law, to sell securities.
Budgeting on a Regular Basis
Why budget? Budgeting empowers you to make sure your money does what you want it to do based on the goals listed above. You’ll absolutely give yourself a roadmap to meet your money goals (those listed above). There are many ways to budget, but you may want to consider a few popular budgeting methods.
- The 50/30/20 rule: The 50/30/20 Rule divides your monthly after-tax income into three separate spending categories. You earmark 50% of your monthly income to go toward your needs, 30% to go toward “wants” and 20% to go toward savings or paying off debt. This way, every dollar has a job to do.
- Zero-based budget: A zero-based budget means that you total up your income and subtract all your expenses in order to arrive at $0. This type of budget is a precise way to allocate all of your assets. For example, you may have $5,000 coming in per month, and you’ll allocate the exact $5,000 — every penny of it — toward savings, groceries, etc.
- Pay-yourself-first budget: The pay-yourself-first budget means that you do just that — pay yourself first. You allocate money toward your savings and retirement accounts first and foremost, which means that you put money into your Roth IRA and then use the remainder of your income to use as you see fit.
- Envelope budgeting system: The envelope system simply means that you put money into envelopes labeled “groceries,” “restaurants,” “entertainment,” etc. This method drives consumers away from using credit cards and suggests a cash-based system.
Building an Emergency Fund
You may have already heard that you need an emergency fund which amounts to saving between three to six months’ worth of expenses. If you don’t have a traditional full-time job and rely on freelance income, for example, you may want to consider saving more.
You want to set aside this cash reserve in order to pay for surprise expenses or financial emergencies, such as car or home repairs, medical bills or for lost income in case you lose your job.
In the United States, the average annual stock market return is 10%. However, that figure is more like 6% to 7% when accounting for inflation.
Even so, investing in the stock market is might be a good ways to get around inflation. because you aim for strong returns after investing over a long period of time, including for retirement planning.
Another idea you can do is to diversify your investments. Diversification means that you invest in a wide variety of investment strategies. For example, you may invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITS) and other wealth strategies, even alternative investments. Pooling your investments with Social Security could be another way to handle your future retirement savings.
You’ve heard it over and over — you need to avoid debt and get out of debt if you have it. However, if you have an insurmountable amount of debt, it can seem impossible to get out of the tangled web of debt.
- Pay off debt on your own: You can manage your own debt load by making payments. There are a few popularized options, including the debt snowball or debt avalanche option. They are excellent options that can give you an avenue to eradicate debt. The debt snowball option means that you pay off debt in order of smallest to largest (while making the minimum payments on the other debts). For example, if you have debts of $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000, you’d put extra money toward the $1,000 debt first. The debt avalanche method means that you pay as much as you can toward your highest-interest debt, while making minimum payments on the rest, until you pay off all your debt. For example, if the $1,000 has a 5% interest rate, the $2,000 loan has a 6% interest rate and the $5,000 debt has a 2% interest rate, you’d pay off the $2,000 loan first. Sometimes it just helps to prioritize which debt you’ll pay off first.
- Debt consolidation: You can take out another loan in order to pay off your other debt, such as credit cards or other loans can help you put all your debt together in one place. However, it’s important to know that you’re still going to have to qualify. For example, you may want to grab a personal loan, a home equity loan or a credit card balance transfer. However, since you replace one type of debt with another, it’s an approach that you’ll have to be careful about.
- Debt settlement: Debt settlement companies can help you negotiate by creating an individual plan to work with your creditors to accept a lump sum payment. Your debt settlement company will charge you fees — just make sure you work with a reputable company.
Another arm of your wealth management strategy involves insurance. It’s a good idea to protect your life and your family with the right types of insurance you need, including health, business, disability, home, auto and life insurance. These types of insurance can help you protect your life and health, your ability to earn an income, to protect your home and more.
Check with your insurance provider and financial planner about the types of insurance you need to protect all aspects of your life. There may be a type of insurance that you’re forgetting about!
Choose a reputable insurance company to help recommend the best insurance products for your particular needs.
Estate planning ensures your final wishes are carried out in the event of your death. For example, if you want to make sure that your money is divided between your three kids or if you want to make sure that your sister and her husband get custody of your kids if you were to die unexpectedly, an estate plan will help you execute your wishes and desires. A lawyer will help you devise your estate plan.
Put Together the Right Wealth Management Strategy for You
You’ll need the right wealth management strategy to help you meet your goals. You’ll more than likely need a combination of services to help you get there, whether you tap into the services of a financial services company, lawyer and insurance company or other professionals.
Let UNest be your partner as well. We can help you put together an account for your child’s future. Download the UNest app today and get started with a tax-advantaged custodial account for minors. Your family and friends can contribute funds to your child’s UNest investment account through a shareable gift link.