Should You Reveal All Your Personal Information to Your Wealth Manager?

Success in the wealth management process requires an affluent family to reveal all of its holdings to a total stranger: The Wealth Manager. In order for the process to be effective, the wealth manager must be able to see the family's "full picture". To illustrate, imagine if someone complained of a headache, and their doctor, without checking for other symptoms, simply prescribed a pain killer.
The wealth manager acts as the family's Chief Financial Officer. The position requires that the wealth manager be loyal and totally committed to the family. Trust is built gradually at a pace that is dependent on the family, the wealth manager and the cooperation between them. Data security and client confidentiality are of the utmost importance. In a reputable financial planning firm, family information is well protected by secured systems that are accessible only to the wealth manager and the IT manager.
The family should come prepared for the process, which includes an initial meeting with both spouses to discuss quantitative data such as financial assets and liabilities, as well as qualitative information such as family goals, wants and needs. On a continuing basis, the wealth manager will work very closely with the family and will be involved at any junctures that require major financial decisions.
All this might raise apprehensions for the family, as they are now allowing a stranger to be involved with all issues regarding their finances, as well as "soft" sensitive details regarding family members. They may also fear the leaking of personal data to third parties and the possible exposure of the health issues of family members.
As time passes, the relationship between the family and the wealth manager builds and strengthens. At the request of the heads of the family, the wealth manager will meet with the next generation and will support them in any way possible, with advice and tools to help them become financially independent. In many cases the financial planner becomes the "right-hand man" and confidant of the head of the family on both financial and other issues.
In conclusion, we understand the initial hesitation of the family stemming from the exposure of sensitive matters to the financial planner. However, from our experience, as time passes this fear dissipates and is replaced with trust and confidence, enabling productive cooperation between the wealth manager and the family.

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