Home "Wealth Management" as a career
To manage wealth, the first pre-condition is that there should be “wealth”!!!(guess I’ve driven that point home..) And what better time we could get, other than NOW in an emerging and growing economy like India where the wealth index is on the rise, to make wealth management as a serious career option. I said career ‘option’ because, in today’s scenario, there are so many choices available and every thing looks equally attractive. Today is an era of abundance, with more and more foreign investments coming in through various business and trade opportunities and thereby creating a lot of wealthy individuals. In this brief write up, my focus would be more on finding out why “wealth management” is a very interesting, innovative, challenging and rewarding choice to make.

The first image that dawns on our mind when we think of “wealth” is a big Bungalow and a sleek Mercedez or BMW parked in front!! However, the truth is far from it.Inorder to understand the concept of wealth management at a deeper level, let us take a look at the various aspects that contribute to one’s wealth. For this we need to understand the difference between money and wealth, which is often used interchangeably.

Money is just a medium of exchange for goods and services as an economist would put it. This takes the form of a regular income or an expense, i.e. whenever there is an exchange of goods and services there is a positive or negative cash flow or money flow associated with it. However, wealth has a wider perspective. First of all wealth is a “source” of cash flow. It could take the form of a bank deposit kicking out interest, or of an apartment, giving out rental income. Therefore there is a close association between the words ‘Wealth’ and ‘Asset’. And an asset is anything which gives out a positive cash flow. So we can conclude that the key components of an individual’s wealth are the various assets that he owns, such as property (other than his residence), businesses, the various investments such as shares, mutual funds, precious metals, collectibles, deposits etc.

The main challenge, a wealth manager faces is in constructing, maintaining, reviewing and updating a portfolio of the assets in a proportion matching the individual’s goals and risk appetite. Along side come other additional responsibilities such as providing Insurance and hedging solutions for the assets and tax and estate planning. It may sound very simple to a layman, but the process involved is quite complicated, since it requires collecting and interpreting a lot of valuable data, including some which could be considered too personal, from the client. This calls for excellent relationship building and communication skills, without which no one would open up at that scale. This also needs the wealth manager to be patient, persistent and quite systematic in his approach.

The wealth manager should also possess the most updated information, cutting across the financial services industry and therefore is expected to undergo specialized training in this regard. There are various certification courses available today for imparting such skill sets to interested candidates. One such program is Certified Financial Planner(CFP in short) which is provided by Financial Planning Standards Board India, a direct affiliate of FPSB, Denver, USA. This is an internationally recognized program and is rated as Gold Standard by the ‘Wall Street Journal’. For more details you may visit http://www.fpsbindia.org

A certified Wealth manager/Financial planner may either create a flourishing independent practice or associate himself with various financial institutions such as banks, Asset Management Companies, corporate broking houses, insurance companies etc. who are now in the process of creating their own wealth management divisions, seeing the changing requirements of the urban, “not so middle class” and upper class society. The possibilities are amazing and the industry is witnessing a steady growth in demand for qualified professionals. As they say, a rising tide raises all ships. Wealth management is a rising tide, ride it if you can…

Article Contributed By

Chenthil R. Iyer

Director TELOScope