I have spent the last 8 years or more attending soccer events with my daughter. As many of you know, she plays competitive soccer and JV soccer for her school. All the families are great, and we have truly bonded together as parents. We spend weekends together at tournaments and when anyone says “It Takes a Village” (a reference to the book by Hillary Clinton) they have hit the proverbial nail on the head! The key to our girls’ success is team building, and functioning as an effective team.
Soccer Mom (noun): a middle-class suburban mother who spends a great deal of time taking her children to play soccer or engage in other activities… and ME and most of my friends
We all work together to make sure each child makes it to practices and games, and that their homework is finished. We supply snacks, dinners, and lunches — many times even equipment if any of the girls forgot to bring something. Nothing is overlooked, and everyone chips in to make sure the girls’ needs are met.
The girls have their bonds too. Sometimes, I think they read each other’s minds! When they’re not together (which is maybe only one day a week) they continue their support of each other, and even run a soccer group chat. They are the absolute definition of a team, both on the field and off.
Why the concept of “team” works in real life
I took a moment to Google “team building” and found over 5,000,000,000 results covering topics ranging from sports to professional and personal life. There are literally thousands of books on the market discussing team building. There are countless workshops offered worldwide. And… all for good reason.
The concept of “team” works in many aspects of life; it allows individuals to flourish as they use and develop their strengths — either at work or in the personal world. In the sports world, we all know not everyone can play the same position. So, when different skill sets come together, winning goes hand in hand. The same is true for the financial space.
How a good financial planning team works
In the professional world, teams serve their clients more effectively for the same reasons. Finding a good team to take care of your financial planning needs is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. At Allen & Company, we always address around 13 specific wealth management issues we have found that almost everyone faces, with every client. For a wide variety of needs, there’s a specialist on our team who can address them — including investments, qualified retirement plans or IRAs, rollovers, employee stock options, and much more.
We collaborate closely with other professionals
In the course of our planning we may uncover other issues, such as liabilities, healthcare needs, and so on. In these cases, our financial planning team works with outside team members to help our clients. Plus, we stay in constant collaboration with our clients’ other advisors such as CPAs and attorneys. As an example, we might discuss what tax implications could be caused from rebalancing or liquidating a portfolio with your CPA. CPAs also assist our financial planning team with other areas such as estate planning, Social Security planning, tax planning, and so on.
Functioning as a team is key for financial planners
To explain further, let’s look at another example… Imagine a situation in which you are involved in the sale of a closely-held business, or you are going through a divorce. To address all the financial, legal and tax-related aspects of such a transaction, teamwork is crucial. Your financial advisor, attorney, and CPA must work together so YOU can pursue your desired results. Plus, as advisors, we know that our mutual customer has been cared for properly. This is something very important to us!
What you should look for in a financial team
When you look for financial management services — consider a team that not only has experience, but also has team members that handle different aspects of the business and that ask about your other advisors. A great financial management team wants to talk to your CPA and your attorney. Commonly referred to as a holistic approach, this form of team building usually creates a better overall solution for the client (you!) Meaning, a better investment, tax or estate “big-picture” result.
If you already have a financial advisor
If you already have a financial advisor, and they haven’t asked to speak with your CPA or attorney, that should be a priority! Share their contact information with your advisor, and emphasize your expectation that they work together on aspects of your financial plan. You may be at a stage in life where they don’t need to communicate yet… but that can change very quickly. So I recommend you have the conversation ahead of time.
In the end, a meaningful exchange of information at different stages in your life between all your advisors is what’s most important. That exchange will provide a more solid financial foundation and a more powerful plan to reaching your goals.