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If you want to earn a lucrative salary, a career as a wealth manager is a great choice. A typical wealth manager in the United States earns an average salary of $83,027 per year. In general, most wealth managers can expect to earn between $67,299 and $98,261 per year. This amount can vary based on your experience level, degrees, certifications and where you work.

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A wealth management company offers a high level of financial planning options. Wealth managers give their clients advice about taxes, financial investments and estate planning. Often, wealth managers create tailored investment strategies for their wealthy clients.

Often, wealth managers will get degrees in finance or business. They may become a certified financial planner (CFP) or a certified public accountant (CPA) as well. Once they are hired by a firm, wealth managers will normally provide the following services.

  • Legal services
  • Estate planning
  • Risk management and asset protection
  • Investment advice
  • Accounting services
  • Portfolio management
  • Banking services
  • Philanthropic planning
  • Business planning
  • Tax planning
  • Retirement planning
  • All types of financial planning

Normally, wealth managers will only work with clients who have $2 to $5 million in assets. Because wealthy clients expect high-quality services, wealth management firms strive to hire the best managers possible. In order to work in this field, you will most likely be required to have one of the following degrees.

  1. Finance
  2. Business
  3. Accounting
  4. Economics
  5. Communications
  6. Psychology
  7. Mathematics
  8. Pre-professional programs
  9. Statistics
  10. International business

The 10 Best Degrees for Wealth Management

While business and finance are obvious choices, you can study a variety of other subjects in school. Sometimes, wealth management firms deliberately look for applicants who have unique academic backgrounds and experiences. As long as you have learned the following skills, you have the potential to succeed in wealth management.

  • Attention to details: When you work in wealth management, you have to be good at analyzing details. You will be responsible for preparing income statements, balance sheets and other reports. Because errors can be extremely expensive to fix, firms need detail-oriented managers.
  • Analytical abilities: In this industry, you must be talented at making financial decisions. You need strong analytical skills in order to evaluate data.
  • Organizational abilities: The typical wealth manager must handle a lot of information and paperwork. Because of this, they need to be organized and prepared.
  • Trustworthiness: Since you are handling a significant amount of money, your clients must think that you are a trustworthy individual.
  • Communication abilities: While you need financial skills to make decisions, you must also be good at communicating those decisions to your clients. A wealth manager’s clients have a high net worth, so they must be handled with care.
  • Adaptability: Market conditions and your client’s needs can change quickly, so you must be flexible.
  • Math skills: This field focuses a great deal on financial data, business reports and other kinds of numbers. In order to understand financial issues and international finance, you need to have a strong background in mathematics.

1. Finance

A degree in finance can be a lucrative career move. Often, wealth managers will get a CFP designation by taking an exam after they finish their bachelor’s degree. Because a degree in finance covers real estate, tax planning, portfolio management and similar topics, it can prepare you to take your CFP exam.

While you can get a finance degree from any university, many firms prefer wealth managers who have attended Ivy League schools. With a degree in finance, you can learn how to analyze data, keep financial records and manage balance sheets. In addition, you can learn about accounting and business management.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

When you work in wealth management, you have to handle your client’s financial matters. You need to plan out business acquisitions and make investments. Because of this, you must have a strong understanding of how financial systems work. Your clients depend on you to figure out the best investments for their needs.

Other than giving you useful skills for your day-to-day life, a degree in finance is also useful for other reasons as well. Many wealth management firms expect their employees to pursue additional certifications. Because these certifications are related to wealth management and finance, a degree in finance will help you prepare for future exams and certifications.

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2. Business

If you plan on working in any type of field related to business or finance, a bachelor’s degree in business is a good place to start. To make your degree even more appealing to potential employers, you can always minor in finance or economics as well. By studying business management, you can learn how to value a stock, company or financial product.

With a degree in business, you can gain a better understanding of global economics and banking. If you want to make your application more competitive, you can also pursue a master’s degree in business administration. To graduate with a degree in business, you will need to take classes in marketing, business management, financial management, accounting, economics and finance.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

If you decide to work as a wealth manager, you will need to follow the markets. You will be expected to evaluate stocks and buy companies for your client, so you need to know what you are doing. In some cases, you may even be in charge of managing your client’s companies. Because of this, it is important for you to have a solid background in business before you begin working as a wealth manager.

3. Accounting

Accounting involves recording, managing and analyzing financial transactions. Often, accountants will create a firm’s regulatory documents and ensure that they are following the correct financial regulations. Other than following tax laws, accountants are also good at evaluating risk. They can use a firm’s balance sheet and financial statements to determine if the organization will be profitable or bankrupt in the future.

As Warren Buffett has previously pointed out, accounting is one of the most important fields to study if you want to be successful. When you understand accounting, you can make timely, savvy investments. More importantly, your wealth management clients can count on you to make the right decisions.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

Many wealth management firms want to hire CPAs. Accountants understand the details of balance sheets and financial records, so they can easily tell if something is a good investment or not. In addition, their financial experience makes it easier to get certified as a wealth manager.

4. Economics

Economics is known for having a strong focus on math and data analysis. If you get a bachelor’s degree in economics, you will generally need to take classes in econometrics, macroeconomics, microeconomics and business statistics. Because this field is heavily focused on math, you will also need to complete high-level classes in mathematics.

With a degree in economics, you can gain a better understanding of how the world works. In particular, economics can help you understand how the global economy functions. If your wealth management clients want to invest abroad, you can use your degree to understand and analyze foreign companies.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

Often, an economics degree will include courses in finance, which makes this degree useful if you want to work in the field of wealth management. By understanding economics, you can help your clients navigate market cycles. Additionally, you will have to take accounting, marketing, business management and finance courses as well. These courses are helpful when you work as a financial advisor, so this degree is an excellent choice.

5. Communications

A communications degree helps you learn analytical and communication skills. While it is important to understand how the business world functions, a degree in communications will help you to deal with people. You can learn how to relate to your client and understand their emotions.

Economists and financial advisors typically treat financial decisions like they are rational, data-based choices. In reality, most people make financial decisions based on their emotions. Because of this, it is important for wealth managers to understand emotions so that they can connect to their clients. In addition, a communications major is good at simplifying complex topics.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

In theory, your success as a wealth manager is built on knowing financial markets, investments and business conditions. If you want clients, you must be good at communicating your knowledge and winning their trust. A wealth manager could be the best data analyst in the world, but their knowledge will not help them if a client will not trust them.

With a degree in communications, you can easily express your ideas and convince clients to work with you. This degree field will help you learn how to build interpersonal relationships, which are incredibly important when you are employed by someone who has a high net worth. Once you are hired by a wealth management firm, you can always learn about the financial side of the industry.

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6. Psychology

A degree in psychology will help you understand the secrets of human behaviors and motivations. You can learn about how emotions fuel an individual’s decisions as well as ways to connect to other people. Because this field focuses on oral and written communication, you can also develop skills that are useful in a business environment.

To get hired as a wealth manager, you may want to minor in business, finance or economics as well. Economics is a good choice because psychology is involved in the field of behavioral economics. With this type of background, you may be able to obtain a specialized position in the field of wealth management.

Other than helping you at work, a psychology degree can help you on a personal level as well. You can use your degree to learn about your personal strengths and weaknesses. Working in wealth management can also be incredibly demanding. Thanks to your psychology degree, you will be able to navigate these emotional fluctuations in a healthy way.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

Like a communications degree, psychology is a useful degree field because of how it focuses on the human element. Investment decisions are rarely based on data alone. By studying psychology, you can gain a better understanding of the fears, emotions and anxieties that drive investment decisions. Then, you can use this information to guide your client relationships.

7. Mathematics

Mathematics can prepare you for many different career fields. Often, employers hire mathematics majors because they have a reputation for being good at data analysis and research. With a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, you can easily get a master’s degree in a variety of different subjects.

By getting a math degree, you can learn how to solve complex problems. Students can gain a background in data analysis. Through this degree, you can also learn how to make quantitative predictions. Because math is the foundation of so many different academic subjects, it is a useful degree for many different career fields.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

As a wealth manager, you are expected to have a certain set of analytical and organizational skills. If you major in mathematics, you will be able to gain these abilities in school. In addition, your degree in mathematics can help you understand concepts related to business, finance and economics.

8. Pre-professional Programs

Pre-professional programs can prepare you for a career in wealth management in a variety of different ways. A pre-law degree is one of the most useful pre-professional programs for wealth managers. With a pre-law degree, you can eventually get your law degree. Then, you can help your clients as a wealth manager and a lawyer.

This kind of program is excellent for teaching you how to think. Other than learning about critical thinking, you can learn about international business, laws and regulations. Through this information, you can easily get hired for a career in wealth management.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

If you are a licensed lawyer, you are an important person to have around. Other than managing a client’s money, you can give them advice about tax planning, international regulations and legal requirements. While a law degree is an additional step, a basic pre-law degree can also help you learn about legal rules and international regulations.

9. Statistics

Like math and finance, a statistics degree is extremely useful for wealth managers. Even if you do not directly use statistics when you work with clients, this degree field is good at teaching you how to think. In a statistics course, you learn how to sift through data. The ability to understand and analyze information is useful for many different professions.

Statistics is all about collecting and interpreting data. During your degree, you may take courses about introductory statistical methods, regression modeling, probability and experimental design. Additionally, you may complete courses in biostatistics, computational interference, financial statistics and environmental statistics.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

Statistics is a useful field to study because it teaches you how to collect and interpret data. A degree in statistics will also show your clients that you have an analytical mind and strong quantitative skills. All of these skills are useful when you work as a wealth manager.

10. International Business

If you decide to major in international business, you will have to take classes in business. Often, you will be required to take courses in a foreign language as well. Depending on the program, you will be expected to learn about Europe, Asia or a different business marketplace.

Once you graduate with a degree in international business, you will understand fundamental business practices. You will be able to use critical thinking skills and communicate in a business environment. Additionally, you will learn how information technology can help business operations.

Through a degree in international business, you can gain a global perspective and an understanding of different cultures. Many colleges do not offer specific degrees in international business, but there are a few that have this degree option available. If a major in international business is not possible, you can always major in business and minor in a foreign language. In addition, most business schools will include courses about international business and globalization.

How It Prepares You for a Career in Wealth Management

Many clients run national and international businesses. Because of this, they may need help analyzing new acquisitions and planning mergers. They will also need to understand the regulations and cultural norms of a new country. With a degree in international business, you can help your clients navigate new markets and business models. In addition, you will have to take courses in finance and economics that will help you with other aspects of wealth management.

You Can Begin a Career in Wealth Management Right Away

Becoming a wealth manager is a rewarding career choice. If you want a high salary, this is an excellent industry to start working in. To succeed in this field, you may want to get additional certifications as well. For example, many wealth management firms require new employees to get certified as a chartered financial consultant (CHFC), wealth management certified professional (WMCP), chartered wealth manager (CWM) or certified wealth preservation planner (CWPP).

After you choose the right degree field, there are other ways you can prepare for a career in wealth management. Internships and summer jobs can help you develop a stronger resume. As you reach the end of your bachelor’s degree, you can go to job fairs or pursue a master’s degree. With the right bachelor’s degree, you can prepare yourself for an excellent salary and a thrilling career in wealth management.

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Related:

Best Degrees to Become a Financial Manager
Best Degrees to Become a Financial Advisor
10 Best Degrees for Banking
Top 10 Best Degrees

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