The decision to work with a team of financial experts to help manage wealth isn’t one most people take lightly. It requires trusting others with your financial wellbeing and hoping they have your best interests in mind. Unfortunately, not all financial experts follow fiduciary responsibility guidelines that put you, the investor, first. There are always stories of shady financial planners, accountants, and investment partners who prioritize their own wealth instead of your financial goals.
This doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of working with a wealth management team. Rather, it stresses the importance of educating yourself financially. Learn which financial experts to hire and do your own due diligence. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all investment product, there is not one-size-fits all wealth management team.
The Perpetual Wealth Strategy
At Paradigm Life, we teach The Perpetual Wealth Strategy to help people grow and protect their money using proven methods. We offer protection from market volatility while steadily increasing your worth via dividend payouts and interest. The vehicle we use is called a Wealth Maximization Account™. It’s also referred to as cash value insurance, dividend-paying whole life insurance, the 770 Account, or a 501(k) retirement plan. Regardless of what you call the method, it’s the strategy behind the method that really makes the difference.
Wealth strategies are not a product or investment. A wealth strategy involves looking at the whole financial picture.
The Perpetual Wealth Strategy helps shape the way you think about money and investments. It educates you on how to be a better investor and shows you how to build a rock-solid financial foundation. It helps you earn greater income and leave a legacy for your family. This strategy helps you more clearly define what financial freedom looks like for you and outlines a path to achieve that freedom.
No one has the exact same financial goals, nor do any two people have the exact same skill set to achieve said goals. This is why you need a custom strategy that focuses specifically on your desired outcome. You have to know your “why”.
Knowing your “why” is the key to working with a wealth management team, because it keeps the focus on you. It puts you in the driver’s seat. Backed with the knowledge of The Perpetual Wealth Strategy, you have the most control possible over your wealth with the least amount of risk.
Who Makes up a Wealth Management Team?
The right members of your wealth management team depend on your financial situation and the outcomes you’re trying to achieve. For you, that might be an accountant, an estate and/or tax attorney, your company’s CFO, investment partners, outside financial advisors, and your Wealth Strategist, to name a few. Here’s a deeper look at the pros and cons of each:
If you’re a business owner, you absolutely should hire an accountant. But what about employing a personal accountant? Having someone help you keep track of your expenses and investments can be a good idea to maximize your dollars and tax advantages, particularly if you’re too busy to do it yourself or not good with numbers. The more complex your financial strategies, the more time consuming it can be (and difficult) to keep track of income and expenses. Consider your strengths and non-strengths—your Human Capital Statement. If bookkeeping isn’t an asset of yours, you may be better off paying someone else to do it for you.
There are multiple types of accounting. The right person for your wealth management team will depend on your financial needs and desired outcome:
Bookkeepers may have certifications, like from QuickBooks, but typically don’t have college accounting degrees. They are the most affordable type of accounting professional for your wealth management team.
This type of accountant will have had some level of college accounting education and likely an accounting degree. They are more expensive than a bookkeeper, but usually have more expertise.
Certified Public Accountants not only have a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, many also have Master’s degrees. They are certified by the American Institute of Public Accounting. CPAs are equipped to handle a variety of financial management tasks. As such, they’re the most expensive type of accountant to hire. CPAs are usually utilized by business owners, often in the position of a business controller, rather than for personal accounting needs.
Almost everyone will need to hire an estate attorney at some point in their lives. An experienced estate attorney not only writes wills and creates estate plans, they know how to navigate a probate court and see that your final wishes are carried out. Because probate laws vary from state to state, it’s important to hire an estate attorney in the state where you live to help you create your will and estate plan. If you’re the executor of a will for someone who lives in a different state, hire an estate attorney in their state.
In general, the more complicated the will, estate plan, or trust and the higher the asset value listed in these documents, the greater the need for an estate attorney on your wealth management team.
Most individuals won’t need to hire a tax attorney unless they are being audited by the IRS or pursued by the IRS for criminal charges. Often, a personal accountant or a CPA has all the expertise needed to handle tax issues. However, if you are being audited, pursued by the IRS for criminal charges, or own a business, a tax attorney can be an invaluable member of your wealth management team. They are also experts at communicating with the IRS on your behalf and navigating thousands of pages of tax code.
Chief Financial Officer
If you’re a business owner, the bigger your business grows, the more likely you are to need a Chief Financial Officer. CFOs manage business acquisitions and mergers, are experts at predicting market trends, maintain relationships with financial stakeholders, oversee investments of corporate assets, plan for both short- and long-term financial goals, and generally head all of the accounting staff of a business.
Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Investing with a partner can offer unique advantages and provide better results than going it alone. If you’re considering adding an investment partner to your wealth management team, ask yourself these 5 questions, as outlined by the real estate investment advisors at Bigger Pockets:
- Do you have a history together?
- Do you agree on the vision?
- Who is in charge?
- How would you feel about him/her as your boss, and vice versa?
- Do you have complementary skill sets?
If you intend to invest in the market, be it in stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, or other types of high risk options, a financial advisor may be your best bet for navigating these Wall Street-type investments and helping you diversify. The majority of financial advisors are fee-based, meaning they earn a percentage of your investment portfolio. Depending on how well your portfolio performs, this could be quite a lot of money. But considering you likely don’t have the time or expertise to track the hundreds of funds your dollars are invested in, it may be money well spent.
A Paradigm Life Wealth Strategist is a financial expert who utilizes life insurance products as tools for protecting and growing wealth. The products include whole life insurance, long-term care, disability insurance, annuities, and convertible term insurance, to name a few. The primary goal is to reduce investment risk while increasing liquidity, control, and tax advantages. Many of our Wealth Strategists are also licensed as tax and/or estate attorneys, accountants/CPAs, and financial planners. Wealth Strategists earn an upfront commission from the mutual life insurance companies they work with.
Regardless of who makes up your wealth management team, it’s important that they’re all on the same page. Make your financial goals clearly known. Decisions in one financial area can have implications in another, especially involving taxes. All members of your wealth management team should be informed of the strategies you implement, the investment decisions you make, and changes to your finances.
One of the most common phrases we hear as Wealth Strategists from potential clients is, “I love this strategy, but my (CPA, CFO, financial advisor, etc.) has never heard of it/doesn’t know how to implement it.” In fact, we spend a large amount of time working with other financial professionals to get everyone on the same page. We’re happy to set up a free consultation with you and your current wealth management team. Together, we can take a holistic approach to your personal wealth strategy.
Navigating financial waters can be difficult and overwhelming. Build a team who supports your goals. Find advisors who are willing to teach you how to become financially independent. At Paradigm Life, your goals are our goals and our team is here to help you every step of the way. We network with a variety of financial professionals and will happily give you referrals if you’re looking to expand your wealth management team.
Learn More: Check out episode 10 of The Perpetual Wealth Strategy Podcast “Your Life Policy: Involving the Rest of Your Financial Team”