Like many people, you may have assembled your financial team early in your career through recommendations or referrals, or you may have inherited them from your parents. However, as you continue building wealth and require better wealth management, you may feel that your financial matters are outpacing the sophistication of your financial professionals.
While loyalty is a virtue, it should not be one-sided. Sometimes, personal relationships or friendships can get in the way of replacing poor-performing team members. If you feel your personal financial schooner is taking ona little water—that your crew of financial professionals is letting you down—it is past time to review their performance and capabilities.
Disorganization among your personal financial experts may indicate that you have no one at the helm, and this will likely cost you money. The financial professionals supporting you should work in concert to advance your financial position. An analogy we use at Traust Sollus is that of a championship sports team. To achieve victory, players are assigned specific positions based upon their strengths.
Similarly, your personal financial team should work together to help you make the best financial decisions, build and preserve your wealth and manage it most effectively so you can reach your financial goals within your desired time frame.
By having your championship team in place for you to call on, you will have done your best to organize a smooth financial future for yourself and your loved ones.
Who should make up your team? The head coach should be a certified personal financial planner, who is also a CPA, and counsel you on all aspects of your financial life. Your championship team should include an attorney, a banker and an insurance specialist. There may be more experts on the team depending on your personal and business needs.
At our firm, we appoint a wealth advisor to each of our clients. You, too, might engage someone to serve in this fiduciary capacity: someone with the professional qualifications to act as your head coach and advise you on updating and implementing your financial plan, overseeing your investments and evaluating your current team of experts to make sure they are the best suited to your specific needs.
REORGANIZING FOR PERSONAL FINANCIAL SUCCESS
Your first step should be to speak to your wealth manager, and together reexamine and update your financial plan. Discuss your personal financial goals, tolerance for risk and immediate and longterm cash-flow needs. Next, ask your attorney whether there is a need to adjust your will and trusts.
Other issues that may need exploration include guardianship for a child or adult; other changes in your estate plan; possible property transfers to reduce taxes; and your healthcare power of attorney and living will. Updating your financial plan may also call for a meeting with the insurance specialist on your team to ensure that you and your property are adequately covered.
This article was originally published in the December/January 2016 issue of Worth.