GETTING A COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL PLAN: WHY EVERY TEAM NEEDS A MANAGER

In baseball, a manager is the person responsible for running a team’s day-to-day operations, including critical, tactical decisions. When it comes to personal finances, it may make sense to have your own team manager. After all, a comprehensive financial plan is likely to include a team of various professionals. A single coordinator who understands each player’s role can help make sure the team works together so no one drops the ball.

Overview

The world of finance today is far too vast and complex for any one advisor to become a “jack of all trades.” That’s why it’s important to build a team of advisors with expertise in different specialties, ranging from insurance coverage for life, health, disability, long-term care and retirement income to investment, tax, college, retirement, philanthropy, business succession and estate planning. These professionals may include a financial advisor, CPA, attorney and insurance agent, among others. Assembling a team of experienced professionals can help ensure you cover all the bases of your financial picture.

Your Fiancial Picture

Your team of advisors should work together to coordinate their advice; otherwise you could end up with either overlapping products or gaps in your plan. When advisors don’t collaborate, an investor may receive contradictory advice.

To give you a comparable example, let’s say you’re working with a personal trainer and a nutritionist to improve your health. One might say you should load up on carbohydrates while the other says you should cut back. When everyone’s working collaboratively toward the same goal, you’re less likely to receive competing advice.

Each team member should offer expertise specific to their discipline. However, when advice is conflicting or overlaps, do you know how to recognize the discrepancies and resolve them? Do you have the time to communicate changes in transactions or strategy, get each advisor the information they need and follow up to make sure each one completes their piece of the puzzle?

That’s where a team manager can be a tremendous asset.

Team Manager Role

For your advisory team to be effective, all members must be willing to communicate with you and each other in a timely fashion. A team manager can help coordinate activities performed on your behalf, ensure each team member has the paperwork and information they need and facilitate collaboration when it makes sense.

For example…

  • A financial advisor may need to work with a tax advisor to determine which types of tax-advantaged financial products would best benefit the investor.
  • An estate planning attorney may need to work with a business succession advisor to help ensure the smooth transfer of assets from one family member to
  • An estate planning attorney may not know to remind you about updating your estate documents if he doesn’t know that your financial advisor and/or insurance agent have repositioned certain assets.

A retirement plan may require a mix of bank, investment and insurance products to provide steady and reliable income designed to last throughout your lifetime. Many of these products and services have the potential to create redundancies and/or work at cross purposes. An experienced team manager should be able to identify problems and work with other team members to iron out solutions on your behalf.

One of the most common mistakes in financial planning is not making proper beneficiary designations on an IRA, 401(k) plan, securities portfolio, trust, bank accounts or insurance policies. An estate planning attorney can help determine how to allocate assets in your estate plan, but you’ll likely need to work with advisors in other fields to focus on the paperwork in their respective professions. An experienced, knowledgeable team manager can help coordinate these efforts to help ensure there are no redundancies, miscommunications or paperwork that slips through the cracks.

A team manager is the person charged with the 360-degree perspective; an advisor who understands the nuances of each of these areas and knows when to consult with a specialist for additional information and advice.

Team Manager Selection

There are several criteria you should consider when deciding who to ask to serve as your financial team manager. Consider:

  • Who is best acquainted with you, your family, your financial goals and concerns?
  • Who do you work with throughout the year — not seasonally or intermittently?
  • Who is good at explaining matters in language you understand?
  • Who responds promptly to your phone calls and contacts you for regular meetings?
  • Who is best able to provide you with written statements or reports?
  • Who will be the most vigilant about coordinating your team’s efforts on your behalf?

Team Players

Another key element to selecting team members is making sure they are willing to work with each other. This means they should appreciate that if your team manager calls to discuss or request information on your behalf, they should be as prompt and professional as they would be if   you were making the call yourself.

Why Assign a Financial ‘Dream Team’ Manager…

“People really prefer not to have five or six relationships where they’re constantly wondering, ‘Does my accountant know what my lawyer is doing, or does my insurance person need to be updated by my financial planner?’”

Final Thoughts

A financial plan isn’t something you purchase “of the rack.” It should   be customized specifically for your needs and stay on track to achieve your goals. Unfortunately, most of us are busy just trying to keep up   with our own day-to-day responsibilities. In addition to a lack of time, most people typically don’t have the experience and expertise to   develop and coordinate a comprehensive financial plan.

Your team manager should be both willing and able to work with all members of your financial team to help define your personal financial strategy and ensure that each member successfully implements his or her part of the overall plan.

 

1 Marjo Johne. The Globe and Mail. May 3, 2017. “Financial ‘dream teams’ put wealthy clients front and centre.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/globe-wealth/dream-teams-put-wealthy-clients-front-and-centre/article34884790/. Accessed May 3, 2017.
The advisory firm providing you this report is an independent financial services firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of investment and insurance products to custom suit their   needs and objectives. Investment advisory services offered through   AE Wealth Management, LLC.
Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by AE Wealth Management. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. None of the information contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or solicit any offer to buy a security or insurance product.

 

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