If you want to work in finance but aren’t particularly interested in sales and trading or investment banking, private wealth management may be for you.  A number of people are drawn to the prestige and money that a position like this brings, but being a private wealth manager can be exhausting since the hours are very long and the job can be pretty stressful. In some cases, private wealth managers have to work 16-hour days, sometimes for an undetermined period of time!

Private Banking

Private banking is often the first step some finance professionals take in their private wealth management careers. The money is decent and private bankers get to interact with clients on a regular basis. The hours are also not as demanding as they would be for a private wealth manager. However, it can be difficult to break into this industry, unless you have a network of wealthy family and friends or are willing to sign up for or continue a private wealth management internship.

As a private banker, you’ll be offering wealthy clients financial services that aren’t usually provided to the general public, such as trust and estate planning, wealth structuring and portfolio management. You’ll also be helping clients to invest their money wisely, and the minimum account size you’ll be working is usually around $2 million, with the average account being around $5 million.

When you’re a private banker, the quality of your work will be based on several factors, such as your knowledge of investments and your ability to explain financial concepts in a way that is easy to understand. However, your AUM or assets under management will be looked at closely, so it’s important to keep these intact, since your AUM determines the fees you’re able to charge.

Personal Banking

This is slightly different from private banking, and may be the best option if you’re starting from scratch in the finance industry. The pay is not as much as a you’d receive as a private banker, but you’ll start learning the basics of private wealth management without being responsible for extremely large accounts. You’ll be working with the average bank customer, and can offer advice to those who want to add more to their savings accounts, plan for retirement or are planning to put their children through college.

Private Banking Assistant

If you want to get straight into the private banking world, it may be helpful to be the assistant of a private banker. You’ll be performing administrative duties for the private banker, or you could be performing these services for small team of private wealth managers. Your primary job duties will revolve around documentation and settlements, and you’ll have to make sure bankers know their schedules. You’ll get the chance to speak with clients every once in a while, but probably won’t directly help clients manage wealth at this stage.

Being an assistant to a private banker may also be beneficial if you’re moving from another area of finance and want to start focusing on private wealth management. The interview process for an assistant position will likely be less formal, since executives will mostly be looking to see if you’re a good fit for private wealth management.

Other Ways to Make the Transition

If you’re currently working in luxury real estate or automobile sales, there’s a good chance you can establish your private wealth management clients from the customers you’re already working with. Just remember to maintain the same personable disposition, and continue to learn more about the changes and advancements in the investment world to ensure that you’re retaining clients and doing your job well in this competitive industry.

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