How To Become a Wealth Manager: A Complete Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The wealth management sector offers lucrative career opportunities for qualified professionals interested in providing diverse and customised financial services to affluent clients. Wealth managers handle finances and accounting, taxes and investments of their clients. By understanding the educational requirements, duties and responsibilities of these managers, you can decide if you want to pursue this career path. In this article, we define wealth management, discuss how to become a wealth manager and answer some frequently asked questions about this profession.

What is wealth management?

Wealth management is the professional management of investable assets of people from very high-income groups. The preservation and growth of these assets is the primary aim of wealth management. For that, a wealth manager may coordinate and personalise various advisory and financial services to meet the specific requirements of their affluent clients. Depending on the wealth and needs of the client, wealth management may involve the services of a single knowledgeable and experienced wealth manager or a team of wealth managers with diverse specialisations.

What does a wealth manager do?

A wealth manager is responsible for the financial planning and portfolio management of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs). Individuals with over ₹7 crores in investable assets are HNWIs. UHNWIs are individuals with over ₹21 crores in investable assets. After understanding the financial objectives of these individuals, a wealth manager can make specific and long-term plans to achieve them.

They may monitor the portfolios of their clients and make decisions about buying and selling investment products. Additionally, a wealth manager may provide legal advice and financial counselling to their clients and assist them with tax planning, retirement planning, insurance planning and risk management. They may also advise them on estate planning, family legacy planning, trust services and philanthropic planning. Wealth managers may charge their clients for their services by the hour, as per a set fixed fee, as per an annual fee rate or by a percentage of the assets under management (AUM).

Related: What Is the Role of a Financial Manager? A Complete Guide

How long does it take to become a wealth manager?

It can take several years of advanced college education, relevant skill development and work experience in the financial or legal sectors to become a wealth manager. You can complete a three-year or four-year bachelor's degree, a two-year master's degree and a three-year doctorate degree. Additionally, you can do certification courses of six months to three years duration.

Since wealth management is a specialised field that is continually evolving, you may need to spend additional time keeping yourself updated on new developments. For work experience, you can do internships with financial and investment companies. Many employers may prefer to hire a wealth manager with at least three to five years of entry-level or mid-level work experience in banking, business management, financial planning or asset management.

What qualifications do you need to become a wealth manager?

You may need advanced educational qualifications, specific skills and specialised financial knowledge to become a wealth manager. A wealth manager job description commonly requires candidates with a bachelor's degree, a master's degree or a doctorate in finance, business, management, economics, commerce or law. Many wealth management roles may also require professionals with additional certification in financial planning, financial analysis, accountancy or wealth management. It can help too if you develop strong interpersonal, communication, networking, language and IT skills.

How do I start a career in wealth management?

You can start a career in wealth management by taking the following steps:

  1. Learn about wealth management: Find out how high net worth individuals manage their wealth and what financial services they typically need.

  2. Know about the wealth manager role: Read the wealth manager job description in various advertisements to understand the everyday duties and responsibilities of the position.

  3. Get the necessary educational qualifications: Complete your 10+2 with high marks and plan on acquiring a bachelor's degree, a master's degree or a doctorate in commerce, economics, business, management, technology, mathematics or finance.

  4. Obtain the essential certifications: You may benefit from earning certifications in wealth management, financial consultancy, financial planning and wealth preservation planning.

  5. Develop relevant skills: Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are crucial for wealth managers to get along with diverse clients, and they must also have good IT skills.

  6. Network with industry professionals: You can get many helpful tips and information about wealth management that you might not find elsewhere and get a better idea about working as a wealth manager.

  7. Research job opportunities: Find out about possible wealth management roles in banks, investment companies and other financial institutions and look for available work opportunities on company websites, job boards and networking sites.

  8. Prepare and apply to jobs: Write a well-crafted cover letter and resume, send out job applications to banks, brokerage firms, investment consultants, trust companies, insurance companies or money management companies and prepare for job interviews.

  9. Get an entry-level position: Work as a junior private banker and gain experience in providing financial advice to affluent clients by assisting senior private bankers.

  10. Advance in the wealth management career: Gain several years of work experience to become a private banker and then a senior wealth manager.

Related: How To Become a Finance Analyst: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to become a wealth manager

You can become a wealth manager by following these steps:

1. Earn an advanced degree

Since many employers prefer employees with advanced degrees, a bachelor's degree, a master's degree or a doctorate in economics, business, business administration, management or finance may give you a competitive edge in the job market. Another benefit of going to college is getting an opportunity to connect with the alumni network. Through networking, you can connect with financial professionals and get crucial tips on different speciality areas. These interactions can also help you develop valuable skills for establishing connections, and these might benefit you in your career as a wealth manager.

2. Obtain certification

You can get the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFA) certifications. The eligibility requirement for the CPA certification is a bachelor's or master's degree in accounting, commerce or finance. The CFP certification course is of six months to three years duration. In order to pursue this certification, you must complete your 10+2 from a recognised board or complete relevant programmes like LL.B., PhD, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Foundation or Intermediate course from the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India (ICMAI), Company Secretary (CS), Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB) or Chartered Accountancy (CA).

The Certified International Wealth Management (CIWM) e-learning programme by TimesPro and Moody's Analytics has accreditation by the National Institute of Securities Market (NISM) and may enable you to become a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). You can get a Chartered Wealth Management Certification from the American Academy of Financial Management India Private Limited (AAFM India), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and other professional entities. The admission eligibility is 10+2 and some work experience or a bachelor's or master's degree in commerce, business administration, finance, technology, science, computer science or arts.

Related: Understanding the CFA Exam

3. Get financial experience

One or more years of work experience in the financial or legal sectors may be essential for some entry-level jobs in wealth management. To gain the necessary experience, you can consider getting internships with financial or legal companies while you pursuing your education. Working in entry-level or mid-level positions as a financial planner, financial adviser, account relationship management or banker can also help you to get wealth management roles.

4. Develop relevant skills

Aside from having advanced academic qualifications, wealth managers can benefit from having sound knowledge of information technology, mathematics, statistics, finance, business and management. It is also advisable to work on improving your analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Since the work may require frequent interactions with clients, developing your communication and interpersonal abilities can help. Affluent clients generally prefer to do business with reliable and trustworthy wealth managers with excellent customer service skills. You should have a good memory, self-confidence and a positive attitude.

5. Cultivate a professional network

As a working professional, strive to build a network of clients and fellow financial experts. While networking can lead to job opportunities, it also helps improve your confidence, reputation and overall knowledge. You might consult resources like books, podcasts and websites that provide advice on how to grow and maintain a network in the financial field.

Related: How To Become a Bank Manager: A Complete Guide

Salary and job outlook for wealth managers

The average national salary for a wealth manager is ₹5,91,096 per year. The exact pay may differ depending on expertise, skills, experience and employer. The job outlook is positive, as many banks, investment firms and other financial institutions seek knowledgeable managers to handle complex wealth management issues for their affluent clients.

How to advance as a wealth manager

You can advance as a wealth manager by following these tips:

  • Keep yourself updated on the financial developments taking place nationwide and globally.

  • Improve your technical skills to become proficient in using accounting software and stock market applications.

  • Learn additional languages like Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Italian, German and French to get wealth management opportunities with foreign clients and finance companies.

  • Find a trustworthy mentor to provide wealth management career advice and information and guide you in developing the right connections.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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