At U.S. Trust, we are committed to helping you achieve your wealth management goals for today and for the future. Doing so requires significant expertise and ongoing attention to many different areas, but it always begins with you, our clients. We work to develop a thorough understanding of your financial situation, your needs and goals, and how they evolve over time.
We do this by listening closely to you — every day, both through informal feedback from your U.S. Trust advisors and, more formally, through meetings, surveys and other research. In fact, to this end, we recently completed our U.S. Trust 2013 Insights on Wealth and Worth™ survey, which provides a detailed look into the financial lives and thinking of high-net-worth Americans. Over the years, we have found that this survey of non–U.S. Trust clients provides us with crucial information that we can use to help us better anticipate and serve your needs, and those of your family. Among the many fascinating findings from the most recent survey, it seems that while the wealthy have a greater sense of financial security these days, there appears to be a disconcerting gap between their expectations and their wealth planning activities; for instance, 72% of respondents do not have a comprehensive wealth or estate transfer plan, and 55% have never established a trust. You can find additional highlights from the survey in this issue of Capital Acumen.
But understanding you and your needs is only the first of many steps required to help meet your wealth management goals. When it comes to managing your investments, for instance, we need to stay abreast of — and anticipate — trends and changes in the financial markets. Right now, we are focused on helping our clients benefit from what we’ve been calling the great global shift — that is, the shifting of global growth from the developed to the developing world. We believe it is likely to prove the decade’s most important driver of the global economy and financial markets. And although the longer-term implications of this transformation are positive for both the United States and global economies, such a massive transition does not necessarily proceed smoothly. Conflicting trends and economic, political and financial market imbalances and volatility are all inevitable along the way, but then so are investment opportunities. To this end, we have derived what we believe are five powerful investment themes from these often-conflicting global trends. We explore them in detail in the cover story of this issue of Capital Acumen, “The Big Five,” and more specifically in the context of overall portfolio positioning and asset allocation in “Are Your Investments Out of Sync With Your Investment Goals?” Also in this issue, our Specialty Asset Management (SAM) team digs deeper into two of these investment themes in stories that explore investment prospects in timber and farmland and energy infrastructure.
We are committed to helping you achieve your wealth management goals for today and for the future.
Another part of successful wealth management is keeping you informed about our latest thinking through meetings with your advisors, conference calls, and our various print and online publications. As part of our effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of our communications, the current all-digital issue of Capital Acumen has a number of enhancements in terms of presentation and interactivity that are designed to improve the quality and usefulness of your reading experience. The print version of Capital Acumen, along with the iPad and online versions, will return this fall.
The bottom line is that we remain committed to responding proactively to both your evolving needs and the inevitable changes in the macro environment, and always keeping you up to date on the latest thinking of our thought leaders.
Finally, I invite you to keep an eye out for our new U.S. Trust advertisements. The recently launched campaign includes television, print and online advertising, as well as signage in Major League Baseball parks across the country. The ads shine a light on U.S. Trust’s heritage, our commitment to innovation, and — perhaps most important — our expertise in creating customized plans for our clients that connect directly to their personal beliefs, passions and goals.
Keith T. Banks
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management