By: Jamie P. Menges, CFP, CPA
The work I do for my clients is not rocket science. As a matter of fact, if you have a little bit of financial acumen and a fair level of interest, you can do the majority of my job. Here’s another secret: you can save money if you do it yourself. Why am I telling you this? Because I am a fiduciary and therefore required to do what is in the best interest of my clients. I tell all my clients that the advisory services I will provide them can be done on their own. However, most of them will choose not to. Instead, they value several things in their advisor. My education, credentials, professional experience and the internal processes that not only sets a client’s financial plan in motion, but also ensures it is reviewed (and revised) on a regular basis. Most importantly, the greatest return I give my clients is their time back. I do the work; they enjoy their time in
My job has nothing to do with finding the next hot stock. Rather, my job is to help my client’s measure risk so they can have a portfolio that pursues their desired outcome. I also feel obligated to make sure they can do this in the most cost‐effective and tax‐efficient manner possible. According to the Investment Company Institute, there are 7,596 mutual funds as of 2012, with that total exceeding 22,600 when you account for each share class available. There is another 1,194 Exchange Traded Funds to sort out. I am not sure how to account for all of the annuities, insurance contracts, real estate and private investments out there. Each of these options contains some kind of risk; my job is to guide my clients through that maze and determine where they should apply their resources. My independence allows me to do this with only their interests in
“Am I on track?” I get that question from nearly every new client. Does a financial plan answer that question? It is a great start, but the ongoing dialogue with my clients allows me to guide them to the practices that will make it likely they will have a favorable outcome. With regular reviews and revisions, I can help them make adjustments to increase the probability of success.
How do I sell my company? What should I do about a bad investment I bought years ago? How do I protect my assets from my professional liability? How can I save on taxes? The answers are available, but the time to research them is what my clients lack. That is why I have a job.
I have one more confession to make. It’s not just me. Central Ohio is full of highly qualified advisors who have your best interests in mind. They live near you, serve the same philanthropic initiatives as you and work each day to further our profession. Remember, you can do my job. However, if you have not done it yet, you owe it to yourself to ask for help.
Jamie P. Menges, CFP®, CPA
PDS Planning, Inc.
2200 W. Fifth Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215