By Shashin Shah / Contributor
It’s fall, and football is upon us once again. Just as your favorite team is working hard to develop their strategy for a winning season, now might be the time to make sure you have all the players in place to ensure you have a game plan for a successful financial future.
You’re the client, and you “own” the financial team. We’ve all seen how Jerry Jones pulls together his key team members, but ultimately they all answer to him. In the same way, everyone is accountable to you.
The GM (Goal Manager):
Your Wealth Manager is your GM and is there to oversee your team and get the right people on it. He or she is your direct link to your team. A game plan in place is terrific, but it’s their job to make sure it’s being implemented correctly. A financial plan has to be flexible enough to change as you go through life, and your wealth manager is there to guide you along the way.
A good offense will proactively look for solutions and meet with you frequently. These are the people who look for investment opportunities and tax strategies. For example, you may need:
-Certified Financial Planner (CFP) – The planner comes up with best strategies and seeks out investments that work with your goals. Investments may be managed by your wealth manager, planner, or investment adviser.
-Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – A CPA can ensure that your tax planning is as efficient as possible and can maximize your tax advantage.
We all need someone to protect us. A sound defense will look at your gaps and vulnerabilities and recommend how to fix those before they are a problem.
-Estate planning attorney – This teammate is responsible for establishing all the details of what happens to your estate when you pass away and can help with asset protection.
-Insurance Agents – An insurance agent is your “risk manager,” the one to step in when your plans fail or don’t go as planned. These are the players who can evaluate your need for life insurance and make sure your property is covered against loss.
The Special Teams:
Occasionally, you may need outside team members not listed above. A good wealth manager can help you to find specialists to address anything that affects your finances and will have a list of trusted specialists, so give them a call first. Divorce attorneys, bankers, college counselors, even business valuation specialists – he or she will have connections to reliable resources.
Who’s Coaching the Team?
You decide the big plays, but a wealth manager can often take over for you as coach and advise on big decisions. He or she can also act as a “financial life coach” in many situations. If a client is under-saving or overspending, the manager can help them to see how it is impacting the big picture. When you are considering leaving your job or making any major life decisions, the advisor can look at the situation within the context of how it impacts other areas of your financial picture and provide advice and counsel.
Going for the Win
In football, you hope your team scores a touchdown and wins games, but in the world of financial planning, the goal is far more complex. Winning is measured in financial security and peace of mind for the client. Perhaps it’s time you consider a second opinion on whether you have all the players to score a win for your family.
Editor’s Note: Shashin Shah is a tenured wealth manager and financial strategist with SFMG Wealth Management. Reach him at Shashin@sfmg.com or 972.960.6460.