Navigating the Affluent Landscape: Choosing Your High-Net-Worth Financial Advisor

For individuals with significant wealth, securing the expertise of a qualified financial advisor is paramount. Unlike navigating traditional personal finances, managing a few million in portfolio assets or more demands a specialized approach.

Would you benefit from working with a High-Net-Worth Financial Advisor? Yes, if…

  • You recognize the need for sound, professional investment counsel
  • Your investment assets are generally $2 million or more
  • You want to preserve and grow your wealth using tax-efficient strategies and low-cost investments
  • You desire objective advice and access to investment opportunities without the conflicts of interest most advisors have because of their fee structure
  • You recognize paying a percentage fee based on the investment assets you have accumulated and continue to save is not a fair representation of the value received from an advisor.

What to look for in a high-net-worth financial advisor

These are a few key considerations when selecting a high-net-worth advisor, ensuring your financial roadmap aligns with your aspirations.

Fiduciary Duty

The cornerstone of high-net-worth financial planning is the fiduciary standard. Unlike some advisors who may operate under suitability standards, a fiduciary prioritizes your best interests above all else. This legal and ethical obligation translates to transparent advice, objective recommendations, and strategies tailored to your unique financial landscape.

The fiduciary standard of care requires a financial advisor act solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice. By hiring a fee-only fiduciary investment advisor to manage your investments, develop a financial plan, or both, you are assured you are paying a financial professional who is legally and professionally committed to acting in your best interests.

Experience and Expertise

Your chosen advisor should have a proven track record of navigating complex financial situations and the intricacies of high-net-worth portfolios, encompassing asset allocation, tax optimization, and multi-generational planning. Certifications like CFP®, CFA®, and CPA demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional development, ensuring your advisor possesses the latest financial knowledge and extensive experience leading clients through different types of markets.

Fee Structure Clarity

Transparent fee structures are essential for fostering trust and reducing conflicts of interest. Flat fees, decoupled from your net worth, ensure your advisor’s focus remains solely on optimizing your financial health. Avoid commission-based and the Assets Under Management (AUM) structures that may incentivize product pushing instead of tailored recommendations. You shouldn’t have to pay more for financial planning simply because you are worth more.

No Product Sales

Fee-only financial advisors are paid only by you for the work performed on your behalf. This allows your advisor to act as a true fiduciary to do what is right for you. Among the benefits of fee-only include:

    • Transparency
    • No hidden charges
    • No conflicts of interest to sell a certain product line or company offering
    • More predictable costs
    • A focus on advice rather than selling financial products.

Will they put it in writing that they will always act in your best interests, as a fiduciary? Will they agree that if a product needs to be purchased, they will refer you to another professional to purchase it, verifying they will receive zero financial gain from such a referral? This can help ensure the advice you receive is the best they can give because it’s the only thing they’re compensated for.

Holistic Perspective

A comprehensive approach is key to maximizing your financial potential. A high-net-worth advisor should consider the interconnectivity of your investments, tax implications, estate planning, and family dynamics. Look for a team capable of orchestrating all facets of your financial life, minimizing risk, and maximizing long-term wealth accumulation.

Taking the Next Step

Choosing the right high-net-worth advisor is a crucial decision. Conduct thorough research, ask insightful questions, and trust your intuition. The ideal advisor will become a trusted confidante, guiding you toward your financial goals with expertise, transparency, and unwavering commitment to your best interests.

The PDS Approach

At PDS Planning, we believe in fostering long-term partnerships built on trust and unwavering dedication to your financial success. We prioritize personalized financial plans over product sales, employing flat fees to ensure complete transparency. Our team of experienced and credentialed professionals embraces the fiduciary standard, offering comprehensive guidance across all aspects of your financial journey.




IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by PDS Planning, Inc. [“PDS”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from PDS. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. PDS is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the PDS’ current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.pdsplanning.comPlease Note: PDS does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to PDS’ web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Please Remember: If you are a PDS client, please contact PDS, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.