How to draft your financial dream team

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

financial dream team, financial draft, football, CPA, attorney, financial advisorSmell that? That crisp autumn air? Must mean that football season is right around the corner.

Wait – it’s only May? Hmm, must be all those tax returns we’ve been doing that have my days mixed up. While football season is still several months away (and my beloved Denver Broncos try to rebound from a less-than-stellar season), the NFL Draft is the beginning of football for many die-hard fans. While coaching from my recliner is about as close to the NFL as I’ll ever get, many of us can still take part in our own draft of sorts – drafting your financial dream team. These advisors and practitioners can help you sort out your finances and make life easier when unexpected events pop up.

So, who should you draft for your financial dream team? Like several sports stations, I’ve created my own mock draft below – it might be a good starting point for you or someone you know.

  1. With the first pick in the 2017 financial draft, you select…. A CPA! Alright, call me biased that the first pick is a CPA (there’s no order of importance here). However, your CPA will be one of the most important parts of your financial team. Their financial expertise, coupled with accounting know-how for your business and tax knowledge for keeping you in compliance with tax codes and regulations for your various entities is something that cannot be replaced. Make sure you’re comfortable and open with your CPA, and if you don’t feel they are transparent and keeping you in the loop, it might be time to find a new one.
  2. With the second pick in the 2017 financial draft, you select… a financial advisor! Most everyone will agree that saving is a good thing, and making sure you have a sufficient nest egg for retirement is crucial. However, many people are not sure how to invest their life savings into accounts that provide good returns, protect from risk, and provide optimal tax benefit. A good financial advisor will take all these items into account and apply a plan for each individual client, as opposed to a blanket plan that may not fit your situation. Make sure you understand their fee structure too – some planners make commissions for selling you products, while others charge fees and act as fiduciaries, aligning their interests with yours. While there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way, you want to select the option that is best for you.
  3. With the third pick in the 2017 financial draft, you select… an attorney! Attorneys are a critical piece of the financial puzzle. They can help you draft documents to protect your assets, form trusts, create or dissolve businesses, and generally provide guidance on the best plan for you and your family going forward. There are countless ways to protect assets and a good attorney will help you find the ways to keep yourself safe while maximizing your goals, be they charitable, business succession, or something else. The legal minutiae can be very intimidating, but a good attorney will help you meet your goals while keeping your assets safe.

While this list is definitely not all-inclusive, it can be a good start for those looking to get their financial house in order. Your financial team, like any good football team, must work together well and communicate to keep your best interests in line. A little online research or a conversation with your current advisor on their opinions will help you draft the ultimate financial dream team!

Brock R. Yates, CPA, MT