When looking for a financial advisor in Greenville, SC, there are obviously many things to consider: What services does he or she provide? How long has the firm been in business? Are you working with a fee-only fiduciary firm? But here’s something else to consider; something that may not sound too important at first, but is very important to me: Does the firm offer family-office style services, providing multiple services in one place?
Again, this might not be at the top of the list of importance when searching for a financial advisor, but here’s why it’s important to someone like me – an investor, a working mother and a Greenville, SC resident.
As client services manager at Global View, I oversee the administrative issues that directly affect whether our clients are able to achieve their goals. And I believe that our family-office style services allow investors to create a more comprehensive financial plan. Why? Because we can make sure all of their financial questions can be handled under one roof.
For example, at Global View, we have an in-house estate attorney, an accountant on staff and of course a team of Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). This means that we can answer questions many clients don’t even have yet. The main reason a lot of clients come to us is to help them decide when they can retiree, and on how much income. Many aren’t that worried about taxes yet or think they have their legacy planning taken care of well enough. But because our team has been at it 20 years, they’ve seen it all, and have a pretty good idea what clients can expect in a few years. They also know all the common mistakes clients make. Which means they can help them avoid them.
We make sure everyone gets all the information they need to make decisions. Accountants are great at their jobs, but its usually to minimize taxes. Attorneys are great at theirs, which is to make sure estate intentions are implemented. And because our focus is on wealth, we look at all these variables together and find the solution that will work for our clients.
Family-office style services were first created in the sixth century for the Royal Family – one person was put in charge of the family’s wealth. The trend caught on with mainstream families for obvious reasons, but now, Global View is actually one of just a few true family offices in the Carolinas. As a former businessowner myself with a strong background in customer service, I can appreciate this style of doing business.
How a ‘Family Office’ Can Help With Estate Planning
When it comes to leaving your legacy and helping your loved ones with an inheritance, it can be very beneficial to work with a financial advisory firm that offers family-office style services.
With estate planning specifically, there can be a lot of moving parts: Of course estate planning documents, but also investment management, financial planning and tax planning to name a few. When the same firm that is setting up your comprehensive financial plan based on your goals and your specific situation is also helping distribute your assets after you pass on, it helps ensure your wishes will in fact be carried out. There’s no miscommunication from one firm to another.
As Global View Founder Ken Moore says, “When you’ve got serious money, you don’t want to be swinging for the fences.”
Taxes can make a big difference on an estate plan. So can the right (and wrong) investments. A primary goal is to ensure your heirs keep as much of your estate as possible.
The opposite is also true: Estate planning is integral to wealth management. Should your estate plan include gifting strategies, establishing revocable or irrevocable trusts or creating a charitable giving plan? Have you even thought about how those required minimum distributions will end up growing a taxable account you don’t even have now into millions 20 years from now?
The Danger of Insurance Firms
When many people think of estate planning, they immediately think of insurance. But going to an insurance firm can be dangerous, because many insurance firms use salespeople to push their programs. And when a salesperson is offering you “advice,” there’s a good chance he or she has a conflict of interest.
This can happen to advisors too, but in the insurance industry, it seems to run rampant.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you are getting your advice from a fee-only fiduciary financial advisor – by law, a fiduciary has to put their client’s best interest first. And because a fee-only financial advisor only accepts payment from their clients (not from third-parties or commissions), he or she is not rewarded for pushing a certain product over something that may be a better fit for the client.
The Road Map
At Global View, we look at a comprehensive financial plan as a roadmap – a plan to get to the place in retirement that a client has envisioned. That “place” might simply be maintaining a current lifestyle without the hassles of work. It might be having time to spend with family, grandchildren and friends, volunteering and finally taking care of tasks around the house. Or it could be traveling the world. Regardless, it’s smart to have a plan of how to get there, and a good comprehensive financial plan should establish the course.
Like any good road trip, there may be detours or roadblocks, but if you keep your long-term goals at the forefront and follow the plan set in place, there’s a good chance you will get to where you want to go.
Now think about that same road trip: What happens when there’s a back-seat driver who wants to deviate from the plan? What about that person you meet along the way that has “a better way” to get there? There is obviously a clearer, more direct route when everyone is aware of the plan and on the same track.
A New Start
Family-office style services can be especially beneficial for those moving to the Carolinas from another state. There’s so much to do after a move – find good schools for the kids, find a new doctor, unpack! When all of your financial needs can be carried over to one place, it can make this task that much easier.
Choosing a financial advisor to work with is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Same is true about an estate attorney and accountant. So, if you can you limit the amount of research it takes to find them all and instead choose one firm that can answer all of your questions, you will have more time to take care of other tasks.
If you’re moving or have moved to the Carolinas recently and are looking for a new financial advisor in Greenville, SC who is familiar with the area and the programs available to you, give Global View a test drive to see if we’re a good fit!