The Fruits of Collaboration: Why we want to make your meetings with us a team meeting


July 26, 2016


JER WW PHOTOOne of the most formidable creatures in Greek mythology is the Hydra—a beast that has several heads to attack its enemies with. It’s a potent demonstration of the idea that multiple heads—or minds, for that matter—can be much more effective than one alone. That idea applies to your finances as well.

You may recall reading in a past WEALTHWISE about one of our clients, Michael, an attorney. His wife Audrey owns a small consulting firm. While the pair came to us in a strong place financially, their PERSONALCFO had a sense that there was room for improvement.

Since the power of collaboration is one of our core principles at PARTNERSINWEALTH, we arranged a meeting with the couple’s CPA and Audrey’s pension consultant, so that everyone could compare notes and do a little brainstorming. With everyone in the same room, we kicked around ideas and eventually came upon a valuable insight. By restructuring Audrey’s small business retirement plan, she could increase her contribution to it while shifting more of the plan’s assets to her. This move saved the couple $80,000 per year in taxes.

Financially successful families like Michael and Audrey typically have more than one advisor working on different aspects of their wealth. Getting such advisors out of their separate “silos” and working together can make a dramatic improvement in your overall financial situation. Not everyone will save $80,000 per year. But the potential for improvement is too strong to ignore. That’s why we want you to invite your other advisors to come to our client meetings with you. We expect their presence will be valuable to you in a number of ways:

• By bringing together different kinds of expertise, we can more effectively evaluate complex alternatives. For instance, should we gift assets to our kids, or what are the implications of purchasing a second home? Questions like these can easily cross expertise boundaries between different advisors. Having them present will lead to quicker and better decisions.

• By simply having more smart people with business acumen in the room, someone may see an opportunity (or a pitfall) that otherwise could have been missed.

• The advisors we bring in will see you as a special client. Gaining a better understanding of your total financial situation will magnify those advisors’ abilities to work for you, even after they are back in their “silos.” Knowing they are part of a team working for your benefit can strengthen their relationship with you going forward.

At some point, of course, too many cooks can spoil the broth. For that reason, we’ll want to limit the number of other advisors joining us to between one and three in most cases. Options might include your CPA, wealth advisor, pension consultant, insurance agent, estate lawyer, etc. We can help you decide which advisors would be the best to invite, given your specific situation.

You’ll be hearing more from us about this. Ultimately, it’s another step in the process of helping you to receive the best possible solutions for your unique situation.

At PARTNERSINWEALTH, we fold together the diverse aspects of your family’s finances so you can make better decisions and move from a place of worry to a place of gratitude. If that sounds like something you need to do, please contact Jim Waters, CFP®, at 713.964.4028 or