The “sharpest tool in the shed”
A wise man once told me that if you were the smartest person in your network of advisors you need to find new advisors. I always surround myself with people that are sharper, smarter and more experienced in their fields of expertise so that I can leverage their knowledge and advice to guide me through life and to help build and protect my wealth. I consider my wealth creation as a business and just like any large business you should have your own “Board of advisors”… putting it simply, it is just the power of leverage and you should never let ego get in the way.
Let me give you an insight into the types of people that I invite to sit on my personal board of advisors (in no particular order).
- Accountant: I have someone that guides me through the maze of tax legislation and asset protection, show me how I can legally reduce my tax, someone that understands my financial situation, ensures I have met all my obligations with the ATO and can act as the intermediary between the ATO and myself as and when issues arise.
- Financial Planner: Somebody that has the experience to help me through transitions in life both through my accumulation phase of life and transition to retirement, and provide advice on where best to invest in equities /property or cash and in particular, strategies on how I can use my superannuation fund in today’s modern world to help to grow my assets. For example, how can I borrow to buy investment property using my super and when required, show me how I can effectively use my super as a transition to retirement. I also want to ensure I am adequately insured for all risks in life with appropriate insurance cover that includes, Life, Disability and Income protection so that if I was to die, or have an accident, to be able to cover all my debts thereby ensuring that my family are well taken care of.
- Finance broker/banker: I rely on my broker or banker to help me build and grow my wealth, somebody who understands my personal finances I can talk to and who can act quickly when I need access to funds to invest. I have a Broker who can shop around for the best deals in the market place, process the paperwork and also a Banker who can assist with day to day banking requirements.
- Buyer’s agent: I, like most of us in today’s hectic world, live a busy lifestyle and I don’t have the time or perhaps even the skill to research and source an investment property so I rely on a Licensed Professional Buyers Agent. These professionals are working for me versus a selling agent who is working for the vendor, they spend their every working hour analysing the best areas to invest and they do the leg work and source the appropriate property to purchase and also help negotiate. A Professional Buyers agent will ensure I buy the right property and that I don’t overpay for that property due to an emotional attachment.
- Real estate agent: Once I have found and purchased an investment property I want to rely on someone to manage and handle all the day to day issues of holding a property, I want to keep a tenant / landlord relationship at arm’s length so when appropriate, rent is increased to reflect growth. I also don’t want to get bogged down in paying bills and administration, I leave all this to my Agent and simply get a statement each month and rent money deposited into my account.
- Lawyer: I need to have someone who can assist me with any legal issues that arise throughout my life, help with contracts on property purchases, help with my lease issues and also to guide me through the estate planning process and the preparation of an appropriate Will. I have more than one lawyer, one that manages the basic property settlements and conveyancing issues and another commercial lawyer to assist with more complex issues in business and other contractual issues. I also have a specialist in estate planning so that my assets are appropriately managed and distributed on death.
I am happy to say that all my advisors are much smarter than me in their particular field , and that’s absolutely what I want…I don’t want to be the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to the advisors I work with.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Before you make any financial or investment decision you should seek professional advice to take into account your individual objectives, financial situation and individual needs.