You’ve seen the “purple pill” commercial showing white-coated doctors ducking line drives on the pitcher’s mound, rupturing water mains with a jackhammer, and screeching away on a violin on stage as the announcer says, “You wouldn’t want your doctor doing your job, so why are you doing his?”
Although directed at patients, there is some truth to the other side of the equation. Many doctors think they can do just about anybody’s job.
Physicians possess above average intelligence, supreme confidence, and a strong desire to win. You wouldn’t want your physician to be any other way. I know I wouldn’t. These traits are admirable in the fight against disease but can create problems in other areas of their lives.
One area of potential trouble for physicians is their financial health. Most physicians won’t hesitate to consult another physician for a difficult medical problem or something outside their own area of expertise, but many physicians fail to consult an expert when it comes to their own financial situation.
“I can do it myself.” This is true in the same way they can do their own taxes, build their own homes, service their own automobiles, and dig their own ditches. But is it the best use of their time? A good advisor is very inexpensive when you consider the return over the years and the savings from avoiding big mistakes. Ask yourself these questions: What is your hourly wage? Is this something you really enjoy doing?
“Financial advisor? I already have one.” The term itself is confusing and overused by many different people in the financial services industry. By financial advisor people usually mean insurance salesperson, stock broker, investment company representative, or banker.
What I mean by financial advisor is a true wealth manager. This is best explained by a simple formula:
WM= IC + AP + RM
Where WM= Wealth Manager, IC=Investment Consulting, AP=Advanced Planning, and RM=Relationship Management
Investment consulting is something everyone in financial services does. Some do it better than others. Advanced planning consists of wealth enhancement (tax mitigation), wealth transfer (estate planning), wealth protection (insurance), and charitable planning. Relationship management is the coordination of all the other “experts” that the typical physician employs: attorneys, accountants, and bankers to mention just a few.
Think of it as a personal Chief Financial Officer. It is estimated that only about 6 percent of people using the term are true wealth managers.
So, do what you do best and love to do: practice medicine. Work with a true wealth manager. Your financial health is too important to leave to chance.