The Bigger Picture of Your Financial Affairs

Fragmented Financial Affairs?

Have you had meeting after meeting where confusion reigns, as you are pulled in different directions by your accountant, attorney and financial adviser?

Personal and business affairs overlap, especially retirement, succession planning or intergenerational transfer of assets. All too often, the individual “cooks” in your life don’t work together, which makes for an unappetising financial broth, as they unintentionally pull you in different directions, causing serious unintended consequences.

In an attempt to have a ‘sophisticated’ offering, are you not perhaps overcomplicating your life? Each professional is dealing with ‘single puzzle pieces’, with the accountant looking to the past, the attorney dealing with the here and now, and the financial adviser looking at the future. But who is dealing with the interrelated consequences of past, present and future?

Are You at Risk?

Are you certain that your Last Will and Testament (which may have been drawn up by your accountant) does not contradict your trust deed (drawn up by your fiduciary attorney), which could, in turn, contradict your shareholders’
agreement (drawn up by the corporate attorney), which contradicts the business’s Buy and Sell agreement (provided by the financial planners). Phew!

On its own, each solution could be correct, but overall, there is a confused and fragmented management of affairs.
Also, to avoid being left out, professionals may overstep their profession to give advice outside of their scope of expertise. Incorrect advice is dangerous for you, as you trust and expect that your best interests are being looked after and you are less likely to question it.

What Should You Do?

Your best solution is a multi-disciplinary team approach, where each piece of expert advice fits into the puzzle to create the whole – which is your life.

  1. Make the professionals work for you – call for one meeting, with your attorney, financial adviser and accountant in the same room so that everybody is on the same page.
  2. To avoid the scenario of too many cooks spoiling your financial broth, make your financial adviser your ‘chief cook’ – someone who is focused on the bigger picture, holding these professionals accountable to produce the work and generate the best advice possible for you.

But just remember: Although there are many financial planners within the industry, there are only a handful that have the unique skill set to engage in sophisticated, high-level planning that adds value across investment, tax and estate planning.

Choose your financial adviser wisely.

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