At CPWM, we are often asked what makes us different, how we add value, and how best we work with our clients. In broad terms, the differentiation can be seen in the way we define ourselves. We think of ourselves as Wealth Managers first.
Wealth Manager versus Financial Advisor
In the financial world, there are various terms used for different or similar positions, which are often not only confused within the industry, but used interchangeably.
Financial Advisors, in our belief, help clients manage their money. CPWM, of course, does that, but we believe we go further. As Wealth Managers, CPWM not only helps clients manage their money, but also aims to help people achieve their financial goals. All aspects of someone’s wealth are considered, tracked, and analyzed. Investments become only a part of the greater needs and questions of the client.
Additionally, Wealth Managers are personalized. The custom plan of each client is different because each plan takes into consideration each client’s unique needs of achieving financial freedom. Whether the goal is estate planning, philanthropy, risk mitigation, or simply just taking the worry out of wealth, Wealth Managers are far more in-depth than a Financial Advisor.
Role of the Relationship Manager
This distinction also informs the way we view our advisory teams. We use the title “Relationship Manager” rather than the traditional “Financial Advisor” because this role involves so much more than just providing financial and investment advice to clients. At CPWM, our Relationship Managers serve as the main support structure for our clients, acting as their personal CFOs, and “quarterbacking” many of the important decisions that life brings their way.
Our Relationship Managers’ goal is to allow their clients to focus on what is important to them — whether that is family, travel, or community and philanthropic endeavors — by reducing the burden of making these decisions independently. Each Relationship Manager utilizes other professionals and experts to help ensure our clients have access to the best solutions that are tailored to their individual needs.
RIAs Versus Brokers
CPWM is also a Registered Investment Advisor1. For many, that is just a legal classification, but it is important to emphasize the distinction between a Broker and a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). RIAs are required to be fiduciaries and act in the best interest of their clients, brokers are not. While brokers get paid for putting you in products or specific investments, RIA’s are compensated for investment advisory services.
1 Registration does not imply any level of skill or training.