Thoughtware

Article 10/25/2018

Tips for Choosing Your Trusted Advisor “A-Team”

Presenters/Authors
Paige Williams
Dad and son in a canoe

It’s hard to beat watching college football on a Saturday, cheering on your favorite team. Sometimes your team may make some major changes—a head coaching change, in particular, can create some of the biggest waves. Devoted fans may try to learn as much as they can about the new coach. During this process, many will look at who the coach surrounds him- or herself with.

It may be beneficial to look at this as an example of how you should approach your wealth management team. Just like the coach must have strong players and assistant coaches, you need to have a strong team of financial professionals working together to help you succeed.

When you’re looking for your wealth management “quarterback,” you should look for a trustworthy, independent and caring financial advisor who will put your needs first. Your advisor should work with you to develop your “playbook” to show you how all the pieces of your financial life fit together to help you achieve your financial goals and dreams. When you’re working with your financial advisor to select additional trusted advisors for your team, keep these three qualities in mind:

Expertise

In general, financial professionals can’t play every position or handle every part of wealth management. It’s important to diversify the talent and make sure your team can collaborate to address all areas of your financial life. Just as in football, there are different players for different positions. Your financial team should include professionals who can help you with tax planning, estate planning, insurance, investments and financial planning and other matters as needed. When selecting attorneys or other professionals, do your research. Check all credentials and ask for references when possible.

Integrity

It’s important to work with a team of qualified professionals who will look out for you and your best interests. Typically this means you will want to work with people who are fiduciaries—advisors who are ethically bound to act in your best interest.

Trust

The foundation of any relationship is trust. Ultimately, you want to build relationships with your team and know they truly care about you and your family—in all aspects of your life. Trust is built over time, but you should look for chemistry with your financial advisor and team. Your team only functions as a cohesive and effective unit when you feel you can share everything about your financial and life circumstances. You must be able to do this openly, honestly and without fear of judgement. In short, you should like the people you work with and enjoy spending time with them. If not, that foundation of trust is difficult to achieve.

If you’re a college football fan, best of luck to your team this season. Just like in football, your team is stronger when you surround yourself with qualified, ethical and trusted advisors.

Learn more about BKD’s Unmatched Client Service standards here. For additional information or resources for building your trusted advisor team, contact us.