Investment Challenges of the Affluent Investor

High-net-worth investors face investment challenges that some would consider unique to their financial status. The fundamental tenets of investing apply equally to them as with any other investor, but the affluent investor needs to be mindful of issues that typically arise only from substantial wealth.

Let’s examine a few of these.

Being Too Conservative — When an individual has more assets than they think they’ll ever spend, there can be a tendency toward conservative investment. This may result in lower long-term returns that may shortchange the impact of bequests to charities or the wealth that will transfer to the next generation.

Collectibles — The affluent have a tendency to invest in their passions, and many collectibles have performed well over the years. However, one common mistake is not keeping up-to-date appraisals on record, which may have adverse consequences with regard to estate liquidity and taxes.¹

Concentrated Equity — Some senior executives accumulate large stock positions in the company that employs them.² This creates a unique risk and potentially can be managed in several ways.

DIY Mentality — Some wealthy investors have achieved a high level of success in their careers in large measure due to their intelligence, hard work, and self-confidence. This very success often carries over to the belief that building or managing successful enterprises is not dissimilar to managing great wealth. In fact, it can be quite different, requiring a whole different body of knowledge and experience.

Too Many Advisors — Affluent investors often place their investment assets with multiple advisors thinking that better results will arise from that. However, many of the key needs for larger portfolios such as risk management and tax efficiency will suffer, since there is no overarching view into the larger picture of an individual’s entire portfolio. The independent actions by separate advisors, all with the best of intentions, may actually work to sub-optimal outcomes.

With increasing wealth come even more unique challenges beyond those covered by this discussion. Consequently, affluent investors are encouraged to seek professional guidance that may be best suited for their particular needs and circumstances.

  1. The value of collectibles can be significantly affected by a variety of factors, including economic downturns or markets that have little or no liquidity. There is no guarantee that collectibles will maintain their value or purchasing power in the future.
  2. Keep in mind that the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Four Really Good Reasons to Invest

Over half of Americans do not own any stocks, or stock-related investments, such as mutual funds, according to Bankrate’s Money Pulse survey.¹

Individuals may cite different reasons for not investing, but with important long-term financial goals, such as retirement, in the balance, the reasons may not be good enough.

Why Invest?

  • Make Money on Your Money

You might not have a hundred million dollars to invest, but that doesn’t mean your money can’t share in the same opportunities available to others. You work hard for your money; make sure your money works hard for you.

  • Achieve Self-Determination and Independence

When you build wealth, you may be in a better position to pursue the lifestyle you want. Your life can become one of possibilities rather than one of limitations.

  • Leave a Legacy to Your Heirs

The wealth you pass can have a profound impact on the next generation, providing educational opportunities, the capital to start a business, or financial support to your grandchildren.

  • Support Causes Important to You

Wealth can be an important tool for impacting the world in a meaningful way. So, whether your passion is environmental, the arts, or human welfare, you can use your wealth to effect positive changes in your community or around the world.

A Framework for Investing

The decision to invest is an acknowledgement that it comes with certain risks. Not all investments will do well and some may lose money. However, without risk, there would be no opportunity to potentially earn the higher returns that can help you grow your wealth.

To manage investment risk, consider maintaining a broad diversification of your investments that reflects your personal risk tolerance, time horizon, and the nature of your financial goal.²

Because investing can be complicated, consider working with a financial professional to help guide you on your wealth-building journey.

  1. Bankrate Money Pulse Survey, September 2015
  2. Diversification is an approach to help manage investment risk. It does not eliminate the risk of loss if security prices decline.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Measuring the Value of a Financial Advisor

What’s the value of a financial advisor?

Two studies found that working with a financial professional can result in higher returns and potentially lower personal stress.

Lower Stress

Seventy-six percent of people within 15 years of retirement are stressed when thinking about retirement savings and investments.¹

Working with a financial advisor to develop a written retirement income strategy, however, can increase your confidence and happiness, according to Franklin Templeton’s annual Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations Survey.

With and Without²

Investors… Confident with plan Happy with plan
With an advisor 91% 92%
Without an advisor 44% 44%

Higher Returns

In addition to providing financial guidance, financial advisors may also add about three percentage points in net portfolio returns over time, according to a study by Vanguard.³

Financial Advisor Advice Components⁴

Advice Advice Elements Potential Added Return to Investor Portfolio
Portfolio Construction Asset allocation
Asset location
Up to 1.2%
Wealth Management Rebalancing
Drawdown strategies
Up to over 1%
Behavioral Coaching Managing investor emotions
Aiding decision-making
Up to 1.5%

It’s important to remember that financial advisors also may offer guidance that wasn’t measured in the two studies. Advisors can help develop strategies that protect against the financial consequences of loss of income, and coordinate with other financial professionals on tax and estate management.

    1. Franklin Templeton, 2015
    2. Franklin Templeton, 2015
    3. Vanguard.com, 2015
    4. Vanguard.com, 2015

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2015 FMG Suite.

How Financial Advisors Are Compensated

The fees that investors pay to financial advisors for their advice and services come in two basic forms: transaction fees and ongoing fees. While advisors may differ in what fees they charge, they are required to fully disclose them.

Transaction Fees

These fees are generally one-time fees assessed at the time a transaction is made. Examples of transaction fees include:

Commissions

Paid on the purchase and sale of a stock.¹

Mark Ups / Mark Downs

Occur when a broker-dealer sells or buys an investor a position that it owns. FINRA guidelines ensure the prices paid by investors are reasonably related to the market for the security.²

Sales Loads

The sales charge for buying a mutual fund. They may either be front-end (charged when you buy the fund) or back-end (charged when you sell the fund). Mutual funds are sold only by prospectus. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Surrender Charges

This fee is assessed when an investor sells an annuity prematurely. Generally, it is a percentage of the amount withdrawn.³

Redemption Charge

A charge some mutual funds assess if a fund position is not held for a prescribed period of time.

Ongoing Fees

These fees are levied for as long as an investor remains in a particular investment or investment platform. They typically are calculated as a percentage of assets. Examples of ongoing fees include:

Investment Advisory Fees

This is the fee an investment advisor charges to manage assets.

Annual Operating Expenses

Mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) have ongoing fees that pay for the management of assets and any administrative and service (or distribution) fees. ETFs also are sold only by prospectus. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Annual Variable Annuity Fees

In addition to the annual operating expenses of the funds contained in an annuity, an annuity may have additional service fees, administrative charges, and insurance costs. Variable annuities are sold by prospectus, which contains detailed information about investment objectives and risks, as well as charges and expenses. You are encouraged to read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money to buy a variable annuity contract. The prospectus is available from the insurance company or from your financial professional. Variable annuity subaccounts will fluctuate in value based on market conditions, and may be worth more or less than the original amount invested if the annuity is surrendered.

Combined Fees

Some products or investment platforms may charge a combination of transaction fees and ongoing asset-based fees. Examples include:

ETFs

When you invest in an ETF, there is a transaction fee at the time of purchase and when it is sold, as well as an ongoing fee to manage the fund.

Mutual Funds

Funds may be sold with a sales load and also assessed ongoing fees.

Investment Advisory Programs

While most programs offer an inclusive ongoing fee for advice and transactions, some programs may charge both forms of fees.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Investors should be aware of what they are paying for an advisor’s services and advice. Don’t hesitate to ask questions like “How do you get paid?” or “Do I have a choice of how I pay you?”

  1. The return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
  2. FINRA is an acronym for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of the securities industry.
  3. The guarantees of an annuity contract depend on the issuing company’s claims-paying ability. Annuities have contract limitations, fees, and charges, including account and administrative fees, underlying investment management fees, mortality and expense fees, and charges for optional benefits. Most annuities have surrender fees that are usually highest if you take out the money in the initial years of the annuity contact. Withdrawals and income payments are taxed as ordinary income. If a withdrawal is made prior to age 59 1/2, a 10% federal income tax penalty may apply (unless an exception applies).

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.