There are some people out there who are perfectly capable of managing their personal financial affairs without help of professionals. However, most of us need to “outsource” some, if not all, of these duties. Below are some tips on putting your “team” together:
What positions do you need?
During the NFL draft, owners, general managers and coaches will address the needs of their team as it relates to positions (e.g. we don’t know if our aging quarterback is going to play another year so maybe we should draft a replacement). When putting together your financial team, here are a few key positions to fill:
- Investment Manager
- Tax Advisor
- Estate Planner
- Insurance Professional
NFL scouts go to games, attend training combines, and watch film of their potential draftees. You should ask your peers for recommendations, check for professional designations/experience, conduct interviews, and ask for references from your potential financial team member.
Be cautious of the person who tells you they can do it all. Many years ago you might have seen NFL players play both ways (i.e. offense and defense). Not unlike football, the financial world has become more complicated and specialized. It is very difficult for someone to be an expert in all areas. This does not prevent you from hiring someone that brings a team approach within their financial institution that allows you to be served properly by multiple people with specialized disciplines under one roof.
Make sure you have team players
We have all heard the saying “talent alone does not win ball games.” There have been plenty of NFL teams that on paper should have won the Super Bowl based on the talent, but failed because there is no team chemistry or continuity. Your financial team should be working together for a common goal….YOUR’S.
Your investment manager might make a decision to sell out of a position of your portfolio that may be good for your overall investment strategy but result in adverse tax consequences. A good team player communicates with his teammates and doesn’t make decisions in a vacuum. The true test of a financial team player is that they proactively seek the input from other members. If you have someone that does not want to or is unwilling to talk to or meet with your other financial professionals, take that as a sign that they might not be a good fit.