For the past two months, fans across the nation have been watching their favorite football teams compete on the field, on a quest to make it to the Superbowl. As Green Bay Packer Fans, we’ve had the privilege of watching our team excel, both on and off the field, for decades. More often than not, our players conduct themselves with humility and respect, while at the same time fostering a great sense of comradery with one another. While the game is not won entirely through the efforts of the quarterback, the quarterback does play a critical role in both communicating with and leading his fellow teammates. You can see the quarterback’s leadership skills being demonstrated every time the players form a huddle. In that huddle, the players have seconds to share information and create a strategy for the next play. Being able to communicate effectively so that the players understand the strategy, and then having players who act upon the strategy is crucial to the team’s success.
I would argue that the same is true of your professional relationships. Many individuals rely on professional advisors, such as financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, bankers, and insurance consultants to take care of specific tasks that are all, in some way, connected to your financial portfolio. In many cases, the information that is shared with each of these professionals does overlap in part, but not entirely. Imagine the advantages of having a team of professional advisors who consult with one another, with your permission, for your benefit.
For example, if your investment accounts have seen substantial growth over time, there may be tax consequences when you sell or trade your holdings due to the capital gains. If your financial advisor communicates his or her strategy for selling or trading particular holdings to your accountant, your financial advisor will have a clearer picture of how the tax consequences will affect your overall tax liability and can then determine whether the original strategy is still sound.
Similarly, if you are working with an attorney to create your estate plan, your attorney will likely be gathering information about your financial assets in order to determine which type of plan best fits your needs. In many cases, changes will need to be made to your beneficiary designations or your account titles in order for the assets to flow consistently with your new plan. If your attorney has the ability to communicate with your financial advisor and your banker, the flow of information is much more fluid and it may result in the changes being made more efficiently, without you having to act as the middle man.
This type of collaboration leverages the knowledge base and technical expertise of each professional advisor on your team. The result can be a win-win. Your team of advisors may develop a greater understanding of your goals and objectives, while at the same time developing a greater understanding of one another’s role on your team. You will benefit by having all of your professional advisors on the same page, working together to give you more personalized service.
Are your professional advisors communicating with one another? Are they using critical information from one another to implement the best strategy for you? If your answer is no, you may want to consider discussing this approach at your next financial review. After all, the success of your team may not be the result of one person’s efforts, it may be the result of the collective efforts and talents of each individual in your huddle.
Debra A. DeLeers is a financial adviser with Northright Financial, LLC and can be reached by email email@example.com or phone 920.712.7800.
Securities offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through N.E.W. Advisory Services, LLC. These are the views of Debra DeLeers and not necessarily Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. or N.E.W. Advisory Services, LLC. Geneos Wealth Management and N.E.W. Advisory Services do not provide tax or legal advice.