Select a Team Worthy of the Super Bowl

Physician's Money Digest, October15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 19

Formulating the proper strategyfor financial success is imperativefor today's physician-investor. Oneof the best methods is to develop a teamapproach. Using qualified specialists inthe areas of investment, estate, insurance,and tax planning will provide thebest results. Of course, coordinatingthese specialists to act as a cohesive unittakes skill and expertise. This is why youneed to select a talented team leader.

Necessary Leadership

Selecting the best possible team leaderis similar to selecting an MVP-caliber quarterbackfor a football team. Your financialquarterback should be able to see theoverall objective and coordinate the skillsof all the financial specialists involved todeliver a flawless implementation strategy.The most successful financial quarterbacksare those that have earned the CertifiedFinancial Planner™ (CFP®) designation.

The CFP® designation is recognized as ameasure of one's ability and knowledgeto advise others on financial planningissues. The successful CFP® also has theability and experience to deliver a strategythat will help physician-investorsachieve their goals and objectives. Butcompetency is not the only requirementneeded for the successful financial teamleader. You should choose an individualwho strives to provide a level of servicethat exceeds your expectations. Look forsome of the following qualities:

  • They take time to listen and understandyour unique goals and objectives.
  • They make recommendations basedon your best interests in accordance withyour stated objectives.
  • They understand how changingconditions affect your situation, andwork with you to monitor and updateyour strategy.
  • They make you feel comfortableand at ease when discussing the complexissues of your finances.

Talented Team Players

Once you select your team leader, youmust put your faith and trust in them.Allow them to guide you in the selectionof other financial specialists and assistyou in the planning process.

At a minimum, you will need theadvice of a qualified estate planningattorney to formulate necessary estatedocuments (eg, last will and testament,living will, power of attorney). You willalso need a trusted insurance agent tohelp you acquire insurance polices thatwill protect you and your loved onesfrom financial uncertainty. Last, but certainlynot least, you will need the servicesof a certified public accountant tohelp you develop a tax planning strategyand assist you with your tax filings in theyears to come.

Strong Quarterbacking

These individuals play important rolesin the grand scheme of comprehensivefinancial planning, and the recommendationsof your financial quarterbackshould reflect their knowledge of theservices these professionals can provide.Of all the important decisions you makewhen developing a strategic financialplan, the most important is the selectionof the right individual to provide youwith successful leadership and guidance.

Your financial quarterback's knowledgeand qualifications are vital to youroverall financial success. Therefore, youshould have the utmost confidence intheir ability to lead you through the trialsand tribulations of the long season ofyour long life.

is president of William

Howard & Co Financial Advisors,

Inc, a fee-only investment

and financial planning firm in

Memphis, Tenn. He has 23 years

of experience working with physicians and was

named one of the top 150 advisors. He welcomes

questions or comments at 901-761-5068 or

whoward@whcfa.com.

William B. Howard, Jr, ChFC,CFP®,