By Sally Hanley-Whitworth, CFP® | Executive Vice President, Wealth Services | 11.16.2017
Once you reach a certain point, your financial affairs can become too much to manage on your own. From investments to business interests to trusts, your situation might require a team of professionals to protect your assets and ensure that your money continues to work on your behalf.
Here are four people that should be on your financial team:
1 | Financial Advisor
Your financial advisor takes a look at your entire situation and makes recommendations for how to reach your goals. A good financial advisor can help you see the big picture when it comes to ensuring that you direct your resources in a way that will help you reach your objectives. Find someone who will look at your situation holistically and make recommendations based upon what they know about your current and future goals.
2 | Investment Manager
Managing your portfolio can take a lot of time and effort. And, if you aren’t a professional, you might not make the best moves for your circumstances. An investment manager that adheres to a fiduciary standard is a great addition to your team. Carefully research your investment manager to find someone that understands your long-term strategy and who will adhere to your investing philosophy. Many times your financial advisor may also act as your investment manager as well.
3 | Accountant
A good CPA can make your life much easier at tax time. Sit down with your accountant a few times a year to review your finances and double-check that you are on the right track. Your tax strategy shouldn’t be something you think about from January to April. An accountant will help you develop a year-round and long-term tax strategy that can boost your efficiency.
4 | Estate Planning Attorney
One of the best ways to ensure that your legacy remains intact no matter what happens to you is to get your estate plan in order. Your estate planning attorney can make many of the arrangements. Consult with an attorney to determine what trusts might be appropriate, and to draft a will. You may also want to consider a power of attorney, which can protect your assets and wishes if you become incapacitated.
Other Potential Members of Your Financial Team
In addition to your core financial team, you might have need for additional players. For example, you might prefer to have a corporate lawyer if you own a business. You might also need other consultants to help you with various aspects of your financial situation. The more complex your situation, the bigger you might need to make your team. Whether you need help with succession planning, you need a dedicated money manager, or you need a tax lawyer in addition to a tax accountant, building a team of competent professionals can help ensure that everything is managed without bogging you down.
Your Financial Team Members Should Communicate with Each Other
For best results, members of your team should communicate regularly. It’s not uncommon to have different team members at different firms. In fact, this can be a good idea. Different team members from different firms can offer varying insights and provide checks and balances on each other.
Choose a trusted member of your financial team to act as the “quarterback” in managing communications. That way everyone is aware of what’s happening. If your investment manager rebalances your assets, there may be tax consequences your CPA needs to know about. When you meet with your financial advisor, having your tax information can be useful as you plan for the coming year.
And of course, it’s important for you to check in with your team members regularly in order to keep them updated on your own goals. When your team works together, your assets are more likely to grow efficiently and be protected for the long term.
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If you still have questions or concerns regarding this topic, reach out to our retirement plan team experts—we would be happy to help.