This month’s special report climbs to the highest rung of the financial ladder: the high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth market.

The report begins with a look at the mood of the high-net-worth market. The memory of the meltdown of 2008 is still fresh in the minds of Canada’s financial elite, some of whom sustained severe losses to their portfolios. Are they ready to dive back in, or did their experience three years ago shift the goal posts decisively towards a more cautious, preservation-oriented approach to wealth management?

The report then turns to the question of how to earn the business of the affluent. How do you find high-net-worth clients, and what do you have to do to convince them that they should choose you rather than your competitors?

Two advisors of the affluent weigh in on this question, followed by a look at how understanding the psycho-emotional make-up of the high-net-worth mind can increase your chances of attracting wealthy clients. This section of our report also provides insights on how to pick up on the warning signs that your clients may be a flight risk, and, more importantly, how to avoid this possibility before it begins to develop.

Many of Canada’s high-net-worth individuals and families earn their wealth as business owners, and they’re always looking for ways to enhance their business’ earnings. But the ultimate value of a business isn’t always measured in dollars and cents.

Understanding and optimizing the intangible assets of a business puts owners in a position to secure the maximum salable value when the time comes to put the business up for sale.

Our report includes an article packed with actionable advice on how to develop and leverage these intangibles, and then concludes with some advice on how to wade through the often challenging terrain of insurance-claim processing for high-net-worth clients.

Taking their pulse: The mood of the HNW market
By Raf Brusilow – The economy continues to bounce back, and while wealthy investors aren’t exactly taking the bull fully by the horns, experts say they certainly appear willing to chase after it. Top Canadian investment advisors suggest greater recent investor activity, particularly within high-risk investments, shows the market is feeling positive and optimistic.

Attracting the affluent
By Dean DiSpalatro – While the number of high-net-worth households is set to skyrocket before the end of the decade, competition among firms catering to Canada’s financial elite will continue to be very stiff. Two industry players weigh in on how their respective firms attract and retain high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients.

Engaging the HNW investor
By Grant Shorten – According to industry researcher Investor Economics, the number of high-net-worth households in Canada is set to nearly double by 2018. It’s also expected that, by 2018, a whopping two-thirds of all personal wealth in Canada will be controlled by the affluent segment of the marketplace.

Clients on the run: Signs and solutions
By Vikram Barhat – You worked with them to build their net worth. But now you have to work just as hard to make them stay. What do you do to keep your wealthy clients when they become a flight risk? Advisors and firms working in the high-net-worth space are no doubt highly skilled and clued-up. They know how to pre-empt potential problems, and how to ensure their clients don’t take their business elsewhere.

Building value in your biggest asset
By Sondra Stewart – The single most significant asset for most business owners is their business. I’m often asked how business valuators determine a valuation approach for private operating companies. In other words, how is the decision made to either use an asset-based approach (a balance sheet approach) or a multiple-of-earnings approach? The difference lies in the absence (or presence) of commercial goodwill.

Insurance for HNW clients: Putting a claim through
By Al Emid – Insurance brokers resolve challenges in claims for high-net-worth clients with a combination of clear communication and attention to detail. Life insurance claims present fewer challenges than long-term disability claims. Brokers can head off potential issues while putting together the policy application. Insurance claim managers see non-disclosure at the root of many of the difficulties that arise in the claims process.