Taking a Niche Approach to Wealth Management

June 7, 2024

By cdarmody on June 7, 2024

The wealth management industry is big, and it’s easy to see why. According to the Federal Reserve, at the close of 2021, the cumulative U.S. household net worth topped $150 trillion for the first time in history (though it since decreased to $143 trillion as of September 2022), and many Americans turn to financial professionals for help preserving their wealth. Building and maintaining wealth comes with risk, uncertainty, stress, responsibility, and a need for proper planning, and it’s critical that individuals find financial professionals that have the knowledge and resources that will meet their unique needs. When it comes to financial planning, one size certainly does not fit all, and firms that have an established niche are often more equipped to handle clients on an individual level.  

To help individuals navigate their financial health, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are nearly 300,000 financial advisors in the country—and that doesn’t include tax accountants, trust and estate attorneys, and other financial professionals. From my perspective as a wealth management professional and executive for over 20 years, this volume of opportunity and fragmentation requires a thoughtful, intentional strategy that starts with a client’s goals and agendas. But how can they know where to turn for truly sound advice?  

Too often, companies focus on what they can sell to a consumer by asking themselves “What product or service can I create and then hope people will buy?” — and the financial services industry is not immune to this trap. In my experience, professionals that take a more empathetic approach to genuinely exploring and understanding clients’ problems and identifying opportunities can establish greater trust and grow a more mutually beneficial long-term relationship. However, this kind of dedication takes greater focus on smaller areas of the market.  

Differentiation has been a big topic in the wealth management space for at least a decade now. The emergence of the independent, fiduciary Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) model gives consumers more options and choice, providing them with individualized advice for investment advice that is tailored to their unique interests. However, firms inclined to differentiate by the products they create or by making a prediction about the future of the market are playing with fire and rely too much on external factors that are beyond their control.   

Building a Niche Approach  

This is where I challenge myself and other firms to pivot and truly focus on the client. The paradigm shift of imagining yourself in the clients’ situation is a relationship-driven approach to engagement. It sets the tone for a partnership that is built on understanding and trust. When learning how to serve a niche client segment, or multiple client segments, I believe there are four important questions to consider:  

  • “What arises in a person’s life that causes them to seek financial advice?”  
  • “What can we do better than everyone else?”  
  • “What services will help clients achieve their desired goals?”  
  • “Are we equipped to execute the job in a proactive and effective manner?”  

In the case of Curi RMB Capital, we have been more specific with the first question, “What arises in a physician’s life that causes them and their family to seek financial advice?”   

In this exploration, we have discovered that there is a series of ongoing opportunities and challenges physicians and other healthcare professionals face that give advisory teams the opportunity to add value over decades. A wealth advisor with a physician-focused client base can develop understanding and expertise throughout all stages of their career with specific goals in mind, such as student loan debt repayment, workplace retirement plan selection, implementing asset protection strategies, deciding between operating independently or within healthcare system, and transitioning practices to the next generation of physicians in retirement—to name just a few.  

Whether it’s a physician or any other professional, understanding and meeting clients where they are creates a genuine bond between the advisor team and the client. At Curi RMB Capital, our experience with physicians throughout the lifecycle of their careers gives us the unique ability to understand their needs on a granular level and help them not only achieve their goals, but identify opportunities for further growth and success, and the relationships we form along the way are what make us feel privileged to serve this community. 


The opinions and analyses expressed in this newsletter are based on Curi RMB Capital, LLC’s (“Curi RMB”) research and professional experience are expressed as of the date of our mailing of this newsletter. Certain information expressed represents an assessment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast or guarantee of future results, nor is it intended to speak to any future time periods. Curi RMB makes no warranty or representation, express or implied, nor does Curi RMB accept any liability, with respect to the information and data set forth herein, and Curi RMB specifically disclaims any duty to update any of the information and data contained in this newsletter. The information and data in this newsletter does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, investment or other professional advice. Returns are presented net of fees. An investment cannot be made directly in an index. The index data assumes reinvestment of all income and does not bear fees, taxes, or transaction costs. The investment strategy and types of securities held by the comparison index may be substantially different from the investment strategy and types of securities held by your account. RMB Asset Management is a division of Curi RMB Capital. 

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. 

Investments & Wealth Institute (The Institute) is the owner of the certification marks “CPWA,” and “Certified Private Wealth Advisor.” Use of CPWA, and/or Certified Private Wealth Advisor signifies that the user has successfully completed The Institute’s initial and ongoing credentialing requirements for investment management professionals. 

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