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How the Rich Bank Differently From the Rest of Us

Private banks want the business of high-net-worth individuals, so they often end up creating accounts and services that are specific to those who can afford them. However, the best private banks are typically large enough that anyone can benefit from some of this activity as well. We’ve compiled a list of the best private banks that you could use, regardless of your net worth. If you really want to bank like the wealthy, you should consider speaking with a financial advisor who can help navigate you to your best financial outcome. 

Best Private Banks

The best private banks are going to typically have a lot of assets under management, have a good understanding of how to cater to high-net-worth individuals, have a global footprint, and offer a wide amount of investment options. The right private bank is going to depend on more than that though as it will likely have a deep knowledge of your local market and the ability to offer you what you need.

Here are some of the best private banks available:

  1. JPMorgan Chase: Based in New York City, and, with over$2.7 trillion in assets under management, JPMorgan Chase is one of the best private banks with a lot of different services and investment options available. JPMorgan was one of the banks that started the trend of tailoring their services toward the wealthy. Their operations span over 100 countries and everyone from the high-net-worth to those barely getting by will find a potential fit with JPMorgan Chase.
  2. Bank of AmericaOne of the most well-known names in banking, Bank of America, is based in New York City and has over $1.4 million in assets under management. The bank is in over 35 countries and has over 65 million banking customers in the United States. The bank offers wealth management, investing, and typical banking services as well.
  3. Credit Suisse: Known as a bank that caters to high-net-worth individuals, Credit Suisse is based in Switzerland with over $1.5 trillion in assets under management. The bank has been around since the mid-1800s and they own a significant market share of wealth management in Europe and the Pacific region.
  4. Citigroup: Also headquartered in New York City, Citigroup has over $2.25 trillion in assets under management, second only to JPMorgan. Citigroup has a goal to aid economic growth in every country it operates, working with both governments and individuals. It offers wealth management to high-net-worth individuals but also works to provide small business services to boost local economies.

The best private bank for you might be on this list. It’s important to discuss your needs with a financial advisor, who can help you navigate the process of finding the right bank that offers the services you need the most. Now, let’s take a look at how you can start to think and bank like a high-net-worth individual so that you can grow your total assets.

Wealthy Individuals Stick With Big-Name Banks

As you can tell from the list above, high-net-worth individuals often turn to the same national banks that the rest of us use to meet our banking needs. Why are the wealthy skipping out on smaller banks? Accessibility, technology and resources, to be brief.

Accessibility is a key concern for many wealthy clients, since many are frequently traveling. A national bank has more branches in more locations than a bank that only serves a specific geographic area.

Technology is also a key factor in winning over clients. A 2020 banking survey by Chase says that 54% of consumers use digital banking tools more than they did last year because of the pandemic. And this trend is expected to continue at a greater frequency in 2021. So while credit unions and community banks are becoming more technologically savvy, big banks are still more likely to offer the latest and most innovative products and services.

Finally, a big bank with more than a trillion dollars of assets under management has access to more investment opportunities and more resources than a community bank.

The Best Private Bank Services

How the Rich Bank Differently From the Rest of Us

Just because a wealthy person uses the same bank as you, doesn’t mean they’re banking in the same way. Someone who has $5 million to stash isn’t going to walk into a bank asking for a regular checking account. If they do, they stand to miss out on some valuable benefits associated with private banking services. Seeking out a private wealth manager or a financial advisor might make more sense when there’s a large amount of money involved. These services might be more affordable than you think.

The most notable difference between private banking and traditional banking is the highly personalized service that comes with private banking. Rather than dealing with a different teller on each visit, you would have a dedicated banker or perhaps even a team of bankers who are familiar with your account and your overall financial picture. Your banker(s) will tailor their services to fit your situation rather than the other way around.

Access to private banking, however, typically requires a balance of at least $50,000, with many banks setting the minimum at $500,000 or higher. This is why private banking services are typically reserved for the ultra-wealthy. However, the largest banks make many investment options or banking services outside of the personal touch available to many of their other customers.

Don’t Miss a Chance to Grow Your Wealth

How the Rich Bank Differently From the Rest of Us

Many rich investors understand that they need to make smart investments in order to hold on to their wealth and boost their net worth, and you should think about doing that too. A recent report shows that among individuals with a net worth of $100,000 to $25 million, only 13% of their assets are in cash or liquid investments while nearly 60% of their assets are invested in equities. That means that while the rich are parking some big bucks in their checking and savings accounts, they’re still investing the bulk of their wealth in the market.

In contrast, a survey found that the typical American investor keeps 65% of their assets in cash and only 18% in equities. The takeaway? When it comes to banking and investing, the rich and ultra-rich aren’t letting their assets languish in accounts that earn paltry returns. Some of this is unavoidable, of course. We all need to keep some money in cash to handle day-to-day expenses, and for the truly wealthy, 13% of their assets is plenty of cash to have on hand! For the average person, though, the money we need for regular expenses are a substantial percentage of our assets.

The takeaway, though, is that you don’t want to miss out on any opportunity you have to grow your wealth. This means buying real estate you can afford and investing the cash you aren’t likely to need in the near future. Changing your mentality to a growth mentality could be life-changing over the course of the next 10 or 20 years.

Bottom Line

When you have millions of dollars in the bank, you make different decisions when banking and investing. The rich use big banks and private banking institutions. They also tend to put their money into riskier investment vehicles, focusing on maintaining and expanding their wealth. The best private banks, though, offer many investment options and services to all of their customers. The sheer size of these banks makes it where you can benefit if you understand how to invest properly.

Tips for Growing Wealth

  • You don’t need to be a private banking client to receive wealth management services or advice. In fact, a financial advisor can help guide your finances and put you on the path you want for your future retirement. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • If you have less than $1,000 to invest, consider signing up with a Robo-advisor. Because they use a proprietary algorithm and invest in no-load mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, they tend to have low account minimums and low fees.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Casarsa, ©iStock.com/IS_ImageSource, ©iStock.com/UberImages

Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She's worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, CreditCards.com and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.
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