Financial success doesn’t mean you can stop working, even if you want to. In fact, it can mean even more work. Managing your finances grows steadily more complicated as the numbers grow larger.
Trying to “go it alone” is usually a bad move as the stakes get higher. It’s much better to find specialists with expertise in handling your kind of needs. They can often save you enough money to recover their fees – and give you confidence you are making wise choices for your situation.
Your financial team will be unique because your situation and needs are unique. Here are some of the players it might include.
Wealth Manager. Sometimes called a financial planner or advisor, your wealth manager is the “Captain” of your financial team. This is how we work at Republic Wealth. Our job is to understand you and your situation and help you make smart decisions for your financial needs. We call or recommend other professionals as needed, like Fidelity to hold your assets in safe custody, or third-party money managers with specialized investment programs.
Tax Accountant. I’m constantly amazed how many high-income people still prepare their own income tax returns. Some are very privacy-sensitive and others don’t want to pay a fee every year. I think both those objections may be misguided.
The cost concern is understandable. Why pay an accountant $1,000 or more when you can use a software program that costs a fraction of that amount? Well, think about how complicated the tax code is. If a CPA’s expertise can get you one relatively small deduction that you would have missed on your own, you could make up the fee several times over.
As for privacy, the IRS certainly knows everything. The agency will not hesitate to use that knowledge to extract more taxes from you, too. Would you rather trust a computer – which can be hacked – or have a real human expert on your side? I use a CPA and I think you should, too.
A CPA will do far more than prepare your tax returns, too. He or she should give you proactive advice long before tax time and help keep your tax bill down. If you ever get an audit notice and have to face the IRS more directly, you’ll be glad to have an expert by your side.
Business Accountant. If you own a small business, you probably need help with bookkeeping and payroll. Many owners use the same accountant who prepares their taxes. That’s fine in some cases, but your business might benefit from specialized financial advice.
For instance, if your business is in a highly regulated field (and what isn’t these days?) or you aren’t the sole owner, it might make sense to have a different accountant advising you on business matters and your personal tax matters. You want each facet of your affairs to get the best possible help.
Private Client Lawyer: We all joke about lawyers, but nothing is better than having a good one on your side. Your personal attorney should be someone you trust and rely on for routine advice. Make sure he or she has a wide network and can refer you to specialists in areas like estate planning, tax strategies, business valuation and other complex legal matters.
Estate Planning Attorney. I explained a few months ago why you need an estate plan. You also need an expert to prepare and maintain it. That person should be a board-certified estate-planning attorney. This is a very specialized field and missing just one small element can be costly.
Make sure your estate-planning attorney is licensed in your home state and any other states where you own property, too. State laws rule many important details that can make a big difference. You want someone who is familiar with the local laws and practices.
Insurance Agent(s). I think about insurance as “risk management.” It is how we defend our assets from potentially adverse events or the event of your own death. Here again, an expert’s specialized knowledge can really pay off. You’ll need to insure your car, your home, your health and your life. Some estate planning strategies use life insurance products. Depending on your occupation, you might also need liability, umbrella or errors & omissions insurance.
Whatever your needs, you need to make sure the policy you buy really protects you from the risks you are taking. For instance, does your homeowner’s policy cover the full cost of replacing your home, or just the amount you paid for it? The difference can be huge. You want an agent who will ask you the right questions so you get the right coverage.
Others: You might also need other specialized help at certain points in your life. A good example would be when you move to a new home. You’ll need a real estate agent who knows the area and possibly a mortgage broker to get you a loan on good terms.
As noted above, our role at Republic Wealth is to “captain” your financial team. We help with recruiting, too. After working with hundreds of high net worth clients over the years, we have a wide network of financial professionals. We’ve seen them in action and can help you find the particular expertise you need.
Some financial advisors try to be “jack of all trades,” but David and I gladly admit we don’t know everything. We believe bringing in other professionals will give you the best chance to reach your financial goals. Teamwork is always the best strategy.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Republic Wealth Advisors), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Republic Wealth Advisors. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Republic Wealth Advisors is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of this blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. If you are a Republic Wealth Advisors client, please remember to contact Republic Wealth Advisors, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services. A copy of the Republic Wealth Advisors’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request.