WSJ: How to Build Your Financial Dream Team

From the Dec 31, 2011 WSJ:
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How to Build Your Financial Dream Team
Some good things in this article to review - for example, they point
out that "a good estate lawyer [] shoul dbe weighing whether you should
make moves to take advantage of the current $5 million gift-tax exclusion
-- which is scheduled to drop to $1 million in 2013 -- rather than
waiting until the end of 2012 to make recommendations."
[As an aside, that's a huge drop - and while it's easy to think that
anyone who's got enough money that this kind of thing is an issue
probably has folks like these attorneys on call - they don't - and
the $1 million exemption hits a *lot* more people.]
The article reiterates a point that I've made many times - that
just about anyone may call himself a "financial adviser" (which
is *not* the same thing as a "registered investment advisor") -
and that "insurance sales people, stockbrokers, accountants and
even lawyers might call themselves "financial advisers".
A couple of organizations mentioned in the article as places to
go to look for a good financial advisor include NAPFA, the CFP
Board, and the FPA.
Anyway, it's a nice article with some important points about
how to build a "team" - insurance, attorney, accountant, advisor.
Reply to
David S Meyers CFP
Does a financial advisor who selects his own portfolio have a fool for a client?
Reply to
Don writes:
I'm not sure if you're kidding here or not. As I said, there is no real unambiguous definition of "financial adviser". There is a clear, regulated definition for "registered investment adviser" (or "RIA") and representatives who work for/as an RIA, called "investment adviser representatives". So I'm wary of any discussion centered around the term "financial adviser".
That said, there's a certain expression about "eating one's own cooking". By no means is it reasonable to expect that the portfolio an adviser puts together for himself should be the same as a portfolio he puts together for any particular client, any more than any two clients should have the same portfolios. If an adviser can be trusted to put together a portfolio for his clients, I should hope that he's capable of putting together a portfolio for himself.
As in many things, it often helps to have a third party do a sanity check. But this is not generally like the proverbial attorney who has a fool for a client, or like a surgeon trying to operate on himself.
Reply to
David S Meyers CFP

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