Without Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and the rest of the cast around him, who would Michael Jordan be known as today? Would we still want to fly like Mike? He likely would not have the same number of rings, wins and records. Would we still know him as the best there ever was? Or, just another great but maybe not the greatest?
Many executives make the mistake of thinking they have an accountant and an advisor so that’s all they need. If Jordan took that same path, we all might not want to be like Mike. You need to be asking about more than just how to find a financial advisor. You need to be building an All-Star financial team for YOU because what got you here, might not be what gets you to where you want to be.
First, you need to understand the key positions you need to fill on your team. Depending on the complexity and scale of your wealth, each may play a different role of importance. In general, you should have at least the following resources: CPA, Liability Attorney (litigation/lawsuits), Estate Attorney, Property & Casualty Advisor, and a Financial Advisor/Planner. The financial advisor is not a stockbroker, (I’ve written on this topic separately).
Next, and this is crucial to your success, each member of your team must specialize in advising clients like YOU. They must have deep demonstrable experience advising executives of public companies with your scale and complexities of wealth. Challenge them on this and it should be very clear that they truly have this expertise. In the end, this can save you immensely in time and headaches while creating a better environment to build wealth while avoiding landmines.
And finally, interview these resources before you hire them. Challenge their expertise. Make them prove their situational experience. Does the Financial Advisor know the difference between a Restricted Stock Unit and a Restricted Stock Award? How about your stock options and deferred comp? Can the Property & Casualty Advisor support your multi-state properties and waterfront home? Also get a feel for their personality and whether you feel you will work well together over time. And research the person professionally. For Financial Advisors that means going to the FINRA.Org and SEC.Gov websites to review the Advisor’s background as well as any legal or client disclosures.
Building your team takes time and diligence. There are a lot of questions to ask, some of which you might not even know, so lean on the other professionals you trust. At Spurstone, we interview resources for clients throughout the country to ensure we have the right team working together over time because we know it creates better value for our clients and can save them a lot of time as well.
Taking the time to build your All-Start team now should be a great value to you in the future so don’t delay. And if you’re unsure about your current team or want to learn more about how we at Spurstone work with executives like yourself, please feel free to schedule a 15-minute complimentary consult via the Connect With Us link on our site.
- Tim Golas