Family Fiduciary Secret #8:
Coordinate Your Advisors
Almost all family financial advisors want to collaborate with each other . . . but very few actually do. In today’s secret you will learn:
A contractor cannot build your house the way you want it without coordinating the sub-contractors; the results you expect from your financial planning advisory team can be no different. How effective is your financial contractor?
When we’re hired, we’re hired to do the planning. We have wealth management in our firm and it’s available for those clients who don’t have a relationship or want it. So we’re hired just for the planning. There’s no other expectation on our part that the client has to invest any money with us or buy anything from us — any insurance or anything like that.
Once again, we have it available, but we’re planners first. And as soon we we’re hired, in that three-step process where we got to know the client, they gave us a list of all of their advisors.
We’ve seen their tax returns, so we have some idea of their relationships. Actually, we know a lot about their relationships and we would never ever step on a trusted relationship; they’re too valuable for that to happen.
So the first thing we do after we’re hired, with the authority of the client, is we call each one of the advisors and we introduce ourselves, let them know that we’re here to help, and ask them what they like that the client’s doing? What they don’t like that the client is doing? What they would like the client to be doing? What they think the client should be doing? Any missed opportunities? Any dangers that they see?
And the conversation initially is, you know, “who are you, Superior Planning?” And once we get into that discussion, it doesn’t take long for them to realize that we’re on their side and we know that what they are doing is important.
A CPA is vital. The lawyers are vital. The wealth managers are vital and most people have relationships with wealth managers, and we didn’t want that to be a stumbling block. Most wealth managers that do planning can only plan with the assets that they have. We’re planning for the entire family and we don’t want to get fired because the stocks and bonds we recommended aren’t doing well. That can be interchanged. So we work with the wealth managers. We work with their insurance agents and bankers.
So we call everybody that’s a player in their lives and ask them what they would do and what they’re looking for. And our job is just to aggregate all of these great ideas — it’s like a Mastermind. So what we’ve just done is taken these individual professionals who were working separately and bring them together and coordinate them as a team. When you coordinate the team, you usually come up with better ideas than if everybody has their own ideas separately.