The financial services industry is confusing. Most people need help to navigate through this confusion. It’s why I call myself a Confusopoly Translator. And it’s why we have a team of experts to help figure things out for you. (Successful financial advisor stories start with the right team!)
Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) Joey Hines, Adam Wiles and I devote most of our energy helping clients figure out when they can retire and on how much. What retiring means differs for everyone. For me, it means never having to work just to earn money, and it’s why I plan to work a long time. To quote modern-day philosopher Naval Ravikant: “Retirement starts when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow. You retire by saving up enough money, becoming a monk or by finding work that feels like play to you.”
A Team Approach
When it comes to your financial future, it makes sense to take a team approach. While your financial advisor may serve as quarterback, an estate attorney, an accountant who can help maximize your tax savings and the right support staff help ensure all plans are carried out and you stay on the right path to success.
We’ve talked about retirement horror stories; I believe that behind all the successful financial advisor stories, there’s a team of support staff that helps avoid pitfalls and stay focused on the goals set forth. When all of these individuals are under one roof, you can safely assume that everyone is on the same page, goals are well communicated and not lost in third-party reports and that the client’s success is everyone’s best interest.
When you’ve got serious money, you don’t want to be swinging for the fences.
At Global View, we have a staff of experts who spend every day solving our clients’ problems. Christie Simister is our Clients Services’ Manager. She makes sure everything is working well with custodians, that you can understand your statements, that you have online access and that checks go where they need to. So, you can spend the money you saved and earned.
Then we have a team of paraplanners. Amanda Baize, Erin Sweatt and Elizabeth Gibson do a lot of work for clients behind the scenes. They help clients decide when to take Social Security, whether it makes sense to make an IRA or Roth contribution, how to smooth capital gains to stay in the lower tax bracket (where appropriate) and a myriad of other issues. This is complicated business, especially when you start talking about restricted stock, stock options and so on! Erin wrote a blog on what she, Amanda and Elizabeth do for clients. You can read it here: How A Paraplanner Can Help.
We also have an accountant on staff. Amanda Baize understands how your income and expenses affect your taxes today and tomorrow. She is a resource for all of us to integrate your plan. We make sure you don’t pay unnecessary taxes. But that doesn’t mean we avoid taxes. We think about all the variables, including investment risk. Sometimes it’s better to take some short-term pain for long-term gain (Why Integrate Tax Planning).
We also have a lawyer trained in estate and tax on staff. Kurt Schumacher has dedicated his life to helping clients protect assets and minimize unnecessary taxes. He joined us three years ago in order to have an ongoing relationship with clients as a wealth advisor. He knows how to put together a legacy plan, when to use revocable and permanent trusts and whether the insurance someone is trying to sell you is just a scam.
I believe that all of these aspects are connected and should be part of an overall comprehensive financial plan.
For example, when you buy a home, your finances obviously change. You have new bills and expenses that come with homeownership. Down the road, your home can then become part of your estate, to be passed on to your dependents after you pass away. There are property taxes associated with a home purchase and programs that can help homeowners, depending on where they live. It’s beneficial when all of these aspects can be reviewed and examined by one team of professionals. Though it’s rare.
Offering family-office style services in one place started for the Royals. A “King’s steward” was responsible for managing the royal family’s wealth and coordinated all related aspects to it. In today’s society, there are many moving parts when it comes to finances – again, that’s why it can be so confusing for many people. But in my experience, when you employ the right people on the job, clients experience a peace of mind that their nest egg is being rightfully taken care of.
Finally, our team of investment advisors spends a lot of time on investment strategy. I’ve only been doing this about 20 years, but I think I may have learned a few things. It’s all about fundamentals. The fundamentals applying to all investments are the same. Valuation, quality and growth all drive returns, whether in stocks, bonds or real estate. Sometimes prices move against that, but these forces always win in the long run.