As the end of 2016 quickly approaches and you ponder year-end donations and 2017 financial objectives, you should consider if you need someone to help you reach your goals—or to advise you on what those goals should be.
Let’s take a look at your team.
The Coach develops a game plan based on circumstances. Do you become your own coach, or do you consult with a wealth manager or financial planner to mold your circumstances and financial objectives into an effective financial plan? This is the first big call.
Then, you must ask yourself: Who should be my team players? A typical team consists of a financial advisor, an investment manager, a CPA, an insurance advisor and an estate attorney. Now, the water becomes somewhat murky here because some of these players wear multiple hats. In certain cases, they work for a fee on your behalf. In other scenarios, they are compensated for the sale of investment products and insurance or for professional referrals. So, it’s important to know if you are working with true team players or a team of selfish professionals.
You’ve designated a Coach and assembled a strong roster. Now, you need to consider quarterback selection. Are you going to coordinate the team? Or are you going to work with the Coach to keep your team on track, insuring your team creates an effective financial plan that meets your objectives? You make the call.
Sometimes, a special team member is necessary. If you own unique assets, such as real estate or a family business, or if you have other special needs, your team needs a professional advisor who specializes in that specific area. Make sure this player (1) understands the property type and market; (2) thinks strategically; and (3) complements the other players on the team.
Why? Here’s an example: It might be best to sell a property from a real estate standpoint, but the tax consequences or possible family tension that the sale creates might make another strategy more appropriate. The right player would navigate this play with ease.
A Real-Life Example
Let’s say a family patriarch is a real estate operator with partners and loans; sadly, he dies, with no family members involved in the business. The family members inherit his interests, which are the bulk of the estate, but they are incapable or uninterested in dealing with them. Furthermore, the three children and wife all have different financial needs. The jobs of the estate lawyer, CPA, stock broker and insurance advisor are straightforward. With that said, the real estate situation is significantly more complicated. A real estate advisor should become part of this team to help the family make the best decisions.
Stan’s Final Takeaway?
Everyone needs a team to help them achieve their financial goals, whether they lead it themselves or hire a coordinator. In many instances, special team players, like a real estate advisor, need to join the team to handle specific situations.
We strongly advise that you be aware of your team members’ platforms and agendas. Ask yourself: Are they consultants? Transactional? Or somewhere in-between? Just make sure that all of your team players have the same objective in mind: your financial well-being.
Did I miss anything? What other useful information about wealth managers and real estate advisors do you have to share?