“Executives and HR managers know coaching is the most potent tool for inducing positive personal change, ensuring better than average odds of success and making the change stick for the long term." - The Ivy Business Journal
How is your wealth currently managed? Do some of your resources feel more like salesmen than trusted coaches and partners? Do you have a cohesive team that works together, plans together and delivers team designed and tested solutions to meet your needs? Or do you have different silos of advice working on their own that you interact with separately?
In my experience working with executives, the most successful ones understand the value of hiring the best talent to drive toward their goals and delegating to that team. They understand that by bringing in highly skilled resources, they can save time and increase results while also potentially avoiding pitfalls.
…If you have a heart issue, you don't meet with an orthopedic surgeon...
The same is true for how you handle your finances. Investors should have a team of advisors, working in unison, that support your goals, deliver you creative ideas, save you time and are focused on building your wealth. And to be most efficient, they should specialize in advising clients like you. This means that firemen should work with advisors who specialize in firefighters, physicians with advisors who specialize in physicians and executives with advisors who specialize in executives. Each have their own unique needs, compensation structures and complexities. If you have a heart issue, you don't meet with an orthopedic surgeon for good reason.
So during this work from home Covid-19 market, I'd like to help you build your All-Star team of financial coaches with a few key positions and questions to ask.
- Accountant: A CPA who "gets you a refund" or manages to file on time even when you show up last minute doesn't make them great. We expect more. Great CPA's will welcome our team asking proactive tax planning questions throughout the year and help create tax mitigating wealth designs. As an executive with stock compensation, we recommend you inquire as to their experience working with executive benefits.
- Estate Attorney: Depending on the value and complexity of your wealth will dictate how often we need estate documents drafted or edited. Regardless, when you do see an attorney for estate, legacy or philanthropic endeavors, we highly recommend seeking an attorney that specializes in estate work. We've seen too many issues arise from documents drafted by "do-it-all" attorneys.
- Property & Casualty Insurance Broker: Similar to the estate attorney, the value and complexity of your physical assets will drive your property and casualty insurance needs. Executives and public figures can often be the targets of litigation so ensuring you have proper protections in place cannot be understated. Inquire about their access to multiple insurers and experience with any of your unique asset types (i.e. multiple homes, substantial net worth, yachts, etc.). And don't count on coverage through work to entirely protect you either, we've discovered large gaps in executive umbrella policies by reading the fine print (yeah, we're the people reading the fine print).
- Financial Advisor: Two quick questions for a current or new financial advisor: 1) Are you a fiduciary always when providing advice and managing client assets? 2) Do you specialize in advising executives like me? If they can't clearly answer YES to these questions, move on. If you're comfortable with their answers, then move on to issues like how they will integrate your team, save you time, build your wealth, etc. (If you'd like a more executive specific definitive list of questions, message me for more).
So take this time to think about where you're headed and who should be on your team to help get you there. Interview key players and be comfortable asking the hard questions. Our team interviews other professionals for families often because it's important to have the right people in the right seats.
If you'd like help building your team, connect with me here, I'd be happy to help.
It's your future, it's worth the time to plan it.
-Tim Golas, Partner @ Spurstone - Architects of Executive Wealth