Draw Up a Detailed Blueprint to Build Wealth

Physician's Money Digest, November 2005, Volume 12, Issue 15

If you want an architect to build a new home foryou, the first thing they will do is assemble a blueprint.It's the same with a large office building,where a blueprint serves as the road map for howeverything will come together. Not coincidentally, ifyou're a physician who wants to build wealth, youshould also start with a blueprint. It will help ensurethat your goals and dreams come to fruition, not frustration.But before you begin assembling your wealth-buildingblueprint, you need to determine if this is aproject you can handle on your own, or if you need theassistance of one or more professionals.

Sketch Your Goals

Investor's Business Daily

According to an article in ,the prospective intricacy of your blueprint will helpyou determine how much assistance you may need. Ifyour life is complex and the plans you want to put inplace are many, you may not want to go this journeyalone. To help make this determination, you shouldstart by making a list of your goals. For example, yourgoal may be as simple as figuring out how much tosave for your retirement and your children's education.Or it may be more complex, such as determining howyou can pass along the wealth you've accumulated toyour heirs and not Uncle Sam.

Investor's Business Daily

If you own your medical practice, there are certainlyconsiderations there. At some point you may want tosell your interest. As the articlenotes, there are many ways to structure this type ofdeal, and understanding the possible tax fallout fromeach is an important consideration. If you're like mostpeople, you're likely to decide that while you still wantto have some hands-on involvement with setting upyour blueprint, enlisting the services of at least one professionalis advisable. Then, with you as the coach, thefinancial planner can bring in various specialists alongthe way to help crystallize your blueprint.

Financial Planner Q&A

Investor's Business Daily

If you don't already have a financial planner whomyou trust, you're going to have to select one. In thearticle, Duane Cabrera, headof financial planning for the Vanguard Group, andRande Spiefelman, vice president of financial planningat Schwab, suggest you interview potential planners byasking some of the following questions:

  • How much time will the planner spend workingwith you?
  • Will the planner work with you directly or assignsomeone else within their firm?
  • What are the planner's financial planning strategiesand philosophies?
  • What is the planner's background, including credentialsand expertise?
  • Which services will the planner provide andwhich might have to be farmed out?
  • Does the planner have other clients whose goalsand circumstances are similar to yours? And if so, canyou speak with them?
  • Who controls and has the final say over investmentsand financial decisions, the planner or you?

Investor's Business Daily

According to the article,how the planner will be paid is one of the most importantconsiderations. There are essentially two methods.The first is paying by commission. That meansyou are paying only for specific transactions or productpurchases your planner makes on your behalf. Theimportant point here is making certain that your plannerunderstands your goals, objectives, risk tolerance,and time horizons. You'll want to make certain thattransactions are being made with your best interests atheart, not the planner's.

The other method is to work with a fee-based planner.In this case, the planner gets paid based on howyour assets grow. In essence, the planner truly sharesyour goals and has your best interests in mind. Youmay, however, still have to pay some commissions, aswell as other fees for various professional services yourplanner performs. Regardless of the method of paymentyou choose, or whether you undertake this ventureon your own or in tandem, setting up a financialblueprint is the first, and perhaps most important, stepin building wealth.