Should Your CFP® Be Your Team Leader?

Physician's Money Digest, August 2007, Volume 14, Issue 8

In his book Thin, Rich and Happy (Simon & Schuster; 2007), Wayne Nance writes about the value of a coach, "Someone who wants us to win, and helps us find a way to win." Too often we make the same mistakes time and time again "because we don't, in fact, know what we're doing."

That's one of the main reasons for assembling a personal financial team, and for selecting a team leader—usually a financial planner or accountant—to serve as your coach.

Michael Baras, himself a CFP® and member of the board of directors of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Long Island, says that the CFP® is best positioned to serve as the team leader. He explains that a CFP® is obligated to put their client’s best interests first. When a CFP® renews a membership in the FPA, the requirement includes a pledge to adhere to an ethics code.

"The CFP® can ascertain what allied professionals may be missing, or help the physician- client evaluate the suitability of the other professionals," Baras explains. "“For example, a doctor who works on staff as an employee has different needs than a physician who is a sole practitioner, or is a partner in a practice."

Physicians, of course, should recognize the importance of having a coach. Physicians, themselves, are a type of professional coach, Nance writes, in the areas of health and wellness. Patients turn to physicians for guidance in better coordinating their medical and physical health. Physicians can do the same for their financial health, and it could start with a CFP® as the leader of the team.