Charles Schwab: A Wealth Manager

77% of Financial Advisors call themselves a Wealth Manager. However, only 8% really qualify as Wealth Managers. This is according to a recent study by Registered Rep. Naturally, when I saw Charles Schwab advertise under Wealth Managers, I was curious.
Typically, a true wealth manager has a network of professionals who can do everything for their client. This may include opening mail,paying bills, 1031 exchanges and estate planning to name a few. They will charge a fee for assets under management and it is not unusual to charge a retainer/consulting fee of an additional $5,000 a month for ongoing advice. Most Wall Street firms don’t allow their advisors to charge a consulting fee.

Which brings me back to Charles Schwab and their Weatlh Management services-Yes, they do have a Private Client service and they do have fee based services. But no, they are not true Wealth Managers. On the page they tout their Wealth Management services they have an ad for Schwab MarketTrack Portfolios-Get started with just $500 dollars. Schwab may want to add several zeros to that ad before they fancy themselves as Wealth Managers!

Steve Mertz
Just a Private Investor!

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5 Responses to “Charles Schwab: A Wealth Manager”

  1. Anonymous says:

    good definition of wealth manager.wealth management is not an easy job…

    Online stock market trading

  2. thc says:

    Steve, I know it may be hard to believe, but even by the strictest definition, Schwab really is a wealth manager.

    The Schwab Advisor Network is a group of Registered Investment Advisors around the country, most of which offer all of the services that would qualify as them as wealth managers. Schwab only introduces clients who qualify to one or more of these RIAs.

    Then, if you have at least $5mm to invest you might consider U.S. Trust which also offers a full array of services for wealthy folks. They will probably arrange to have your car washed for you if you are one of their better clients. U.S. Trust is owned by Schwab.

  3. Steve Mertz says:

    Thanks for the info…the fact that US Trust will do all the extras seems to qualify. Do you know if US Trust allows a retainer/consulting fee as well? Thanks, Steve

  4. thc says:

    U.S. Trust offers investment management on an asset-based fee schedule and financial planning, private banking, etc. for additional fees. The RIAs in the Schwab Advisor Network operate in much the same way.

  5. Steve Mertz says:

    Thanks again-I think we can now add Schwabb to the Wealth Managers list!

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