Broker Check

The Evolution of Wealth Planning

A holistic approach to wealth planning services

Independent tax professionals take a holistic approach to wealth planning services, combining individualized financial life planning with wealth management services. Unfortunately, gaining access to a broad range of professional, comprehensive wealth management services and products via a flexible, low cost, responsive platform has proven to be quite difficult to accomplish.

Financial life planning considers both financial and non-financial decisions that an individual makes throughout his or her lifetime. This involves moving beyond transaction thinking and into the realm of transition thinking, exploring what money represents to the client and defining the tangibles and intangibles they expect their assets to provide. It involves anticipating life events, making financial preparations for those events and facilitating the effort to accomplish life goals. Wealth management provides the tools that facilitate this process.

The evolution of wealth planning services

Wealth planning and wealth management are relatively new terms to the affluent community and are often used interchangeably with the term financial planning. Historically, there were distinct divisions within the financial services industry that made a client-centric, wealth planning solution impossible to achieve. You went to banks to save your money or to get a loan. You bought stocks and bonds from a broker. You purchased insurance from an insurance agent and mutual funds from a mutual fund sales representative. The regulation of the industry reflected the division of these transaction-based services, commonly referred to as the "four pillars" of the financial services industry.

Wealth management gained popularity with the repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act, as a high level form of financial planning that provided various types of investment, insurance and bank services and products. Wealth management has since come to represent the financial consulting services made available to high net worth individuals and corporate clients. It is defined as an advanced type of financial planning that provides individuals, families and businesses with asset management, advisory services, retirement services, trust services, legal services, estate planning, insurance products, private banking products and taxation advice.

The Glass-Stegall Act represented a long-standing prohibition against mixing banking with securities or insurance businesses. The repeal of Glass-Stegall in 1999, combined with continued rapid technological advancement in telecommunications and data processing, has contributed to a movement toward one-stop shopping for financial services with improved reliability, higher quality, greater convenience and lower cost. The concept of delivering more and more financial services and products, provided by multiple vendors, through a single platform has fueled a growing demand for professional wealth management services across the United States. The declining cost of delivering those services and products has made them a viable option for affluent clients striving to achieve high net worth status. Now independent tax professionals are able to combine individualized financial life planning with wealth management services to provide wealth planning services to their entire tax client base.

"…gaining access to a broad range of professional, comprehensive wealth management services and products via a flexible, low cost, responsive platform has proven …. difficult"

"The repeal of Glass-Stegall in 1999, combined with continued rapid technological advancement …. has contributed to …. one-stop shopping for financial services with improved reliability, higher quality, greater convenience and lower cost."

"Now independent tax professionals are able to …. provide comprehensive wealth planning services to their entire tax client base."